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October 1993

Laparoscopic Surgeon's Thumb

Author Affiliations

Kawasaki, Japan

Arch Surg. 1993;128(10):1172. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420220092016

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I read with great interest the letter by Majeed et al1 in the March 1993 issue of the Archives. They mentioned a very common and important problem that had not been reported before. Although the operation time has become comparable with or shorter than that of conventional cholecystectomy, we have had the same experience as Majeed et al, who reported temporary injury to the lateral digital nerve of the thumb of an experienced laparoscopic surgeon.

Our experience has been as follows. One surgeon often noticed a ring of pressure around the left thumb at the end of the procedure and an area of paresthesia in the distribution of the lateral digital nerve after surgery. The paresthesia resolved spontaneously within several hours after the operation. Another surgeon complained of the same symptom in the right thumb.

The area of paresthesia was just distal to the site where the lateral digital nerves

Majeed AW, Jacob G, Reed MW, Johnson AG.  Laparoscopist's thumb: an occupational hazard . Arch Surg . 1993;128:357.Article
Sackier JM, Berci GA.  Laparoscopic hazard for the surgeons . Br J Surg . 1992; 79:713.Article