Changing to SurgiTel Loupes After Experiencing Working Pain
Sifrance Tran, M.D.
Medical School: Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
Residency Program: Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia
Fellowships: Pediatric Surgical Critical Care, Pediatric Critical Care Scholar, Pediatric Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
During the 2nd year of my residency, my peers and I were required to purchase loupes. At that time I didn’t know much about technical specifications, or anything about the long-term ergonomic risks. So with the rest of my peers, I ordered the same Designs for Vision loupes. They were the only loupe provider we met.
During my 5th year of residency, I began to use my loupes more frequently and started to feel tension and pain in my shoulders. I noticed I was bending my neck down throughout each procedure, but everyone was doing the same so I didn’t pay much attention. During fellowship, my caseload increased again, and I began to experience significant pain in both neck and shoulders. It was quickly becoming a major concern.
Fortunately, I came across a diagram comparing clinician head tilt with non-ergonomic loupes versus SurgiTel’s designs. The ergonomic picture of the clinician standing upright and only looking made sense. I was already experiencing what it was like to bend my entire head downward with non-ergonomic loupes.
Around that same time I met an ENT surgeon using SurgiTel during a combined case. They showed me how their loupe-mounted LED light worked. Neither I, nor my peers, ordered LED lights with our Designs for Vision loupes.
I was working in Chicago during the time so the local SurgiTel representative was Gregg Szymanski. He worked with my schedule to meet with me after my working hours in my apartment building’s lobby. He was very knowledgeable and showed me how the ergonomic designs are built with steeply angled oculars. I ordered a maximum ergonomic angle, 3.0x loupe, with high-intensity portable light.
When I returned to work I had some pictures taken of me operating in the OR. I saw a huge change in my posture. More importantly, I really felt the change in my posture. I have shared these pictures with numerous colleagues who I have seen bending their necks during surgery.
Also, using the SurgiTel loupe-mounted headlight is much different from using the Xenon headlamp provided in the OR. The SurgiTel headlight is portable, I can operate on both sides of the table, no one is going to trip over any cables on the floor, and there are no tight headband which before caused me headaches.
The headlight is especially valuable in the ICU. Before, I would like to deal with the limited, or total lack of clinical lighting at the bedside. Now I can bring my OR lighting with me!
Simply put, I wish I had this information during my residency so I wouldn’t have had to learn about ergonomic issues the hard way – by experiencing the neck and shoulder pain. Gregg Szymanski and SurgiTel built me the loupe and light system I needed to find relief.