Persistent next-day effects of excessive alcohol consumption on lapaorscopic surgical performance

Anthony G. Gallagher, Emily Boyle, Paul Toner, Paul C. Neary, Dana K. Andersen, Richard M. Satava, Neal E. Seymour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the effect of previous-day excessive alcohol consumption on lapaorscopic surgical performance. Design: Study 1 was a randomized controlled trial. Study 2 was a cohort study. Setting: Surgical skills laboratory. Participants: Sixteen science students (lapaorscopic novices) participated in study 1. Eight lapaorscopic experts participated in study 2. Interventions: All participants were trained on the Minimally Invasive Surgical Trainer Virtual Reality (MIST-VR). The participants in study 1 were randomized to either abstain from alcohol or consume alcohol until intoxicated. All study 2 subjects freely consumed alcohol until intoxicated. Subjects were assessed the following day at 9 AM, 1 PM, and 4 PM on MIST-VR tasks. Main Outcome Measures: Assessment measures included time, economy of diathermy use, and error scores. Results: In study 1, both groups performed similarly at baseline, but the alcohol groupshoweddeterioration onall performance measures after alcohol consumption. Overall, althoughthetimescore differencesbetweenthe2groups were not statistically significant (P=.29), there was a significant differencebetweenthe2groups'diathermy(P<.03) anderror (P<.003)scores. Therewasalsoasignificant effect for time of testing (P<.003), diathermy (P<.001), and errors (P<.001). In study 2, experts demonstrated a similar postalcohol performance decrement for time (P<.02), diathermy (P<.001), and error scores (P<.001). Conclusion: Excessive consumption of alcohol appeared to degrade surgical performance the following day even at 4 PM, suggesting the need to define recommendations regarding alcohol consumption the night before assuming clinical surgical responsibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-426
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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