To compare psychophysiological responses among novice surgeons during performance of endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS).
Fifteen novice surgeons.
Main Outcome Measures
The psychophysiological effects of performing ESS were assessed among 15 novice surgeons at 30 minutes before (T − 30), at the beginning of (T0), at 15 minutes (T15), and 45 minutes (T45) during, and at 30 minutes after (T + 30) surgery. Participants were randomized to perform ESS with a computer-assisted surgery system, to perform ESS without a computer-assisted surgery system, or to be evaluated on a nonsurgical day (control day). Measured were the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory score, Visual Analog Anxiety Scale score, heart rate, blood pressure, and plasma cortisol and prolactin levels.
Anxiety as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory score was not modified by the experimental conditions. The mean (SEM) Visual Analog Anxiety Scale score increased (P < .05) during ESS at T0 (2.45 [0.32]), T15 (3.46 [0.50]), and T45 (3.17 [0.46]) compared with the control day (1.19 [0.19], 1.32 [0.26], and 1.20 [0.19], respectively). The mean (SEM) systolic blood pressure (in millimeters of mercury) increased (P < .05) during ESS at T0 (127 ), T15 (126 ), and T45 (125 ) compared with the control day (120 , 119 , and 116 , respectively). The mean (SEM) heart rate (in beats per minute) increased during ESS but was significant only at T15 (73 ) compared with the control day (64 ). The mean (SEM) plasma cortisol level (in micrograms per deciliter) increased 29% above baseline during performance of ESS and reached a maximum peak at T45 (12.6 [1.2]) compared with the control day (9.7 [1.1]), while prolactin levels did not change. The Visual Analog Anxiety Scale score, heart rate, blood pressure, and endocrine biomarkers of stress were not significantly modified during performance of ESS with a computer-assisted surgery system.
This study demonstrates for the first time that cardiovascular and anxiety changes during performance of ESS are not associated with increased levels of prototypical endocrine stress hormones.