Table of Contents:
Caffeine intake leads to tremor which might have a negative effect on surgeons’ fine motor skills. According to some references avoiding caffeine on day of surgery can be useful if a surgeon has to perform an operation demanding good hand control. Surgeons often drink coffee in their break time. In this study we will examine if this behaviour has a negative effect on the operative skills regardless whether the surgeon drank some coffee before. The fine motor skills of 107 subjects were tested prospectively and were randomised with two standardized and validated laparoscopic exercises (“Lifting and Grasping”, “Clip Applying”) at a laparoscopy simulator (LapSim®, Göteborg/Schweden) before and 30 minutes after caffeine (verum group) or placebo intake (control group). Data on influencing factors such as age, gender, laparoscopy experience, smoking, coffee intake before starting the study were recorded in a standardized questionnaire and tested for equal distribution in both, verum and control groups. In both exercises 4 parameters were recorded, their differences and the resulting effect (score) were measured in both groups (verum and control groups) and then tested for differences between the verum and control group. The significance level was 5 %.
Results: An obvious improvement for both groups from first to second measurement during “Lifting and Grasping” exercise could be observed. However, there were no differences in “Clip Appling” exercise in both groups. Both groups showed no differences in “Lifting and Grasping” (p=0,079) or “Clip Applying” (p=0,511) exercise 30 min after caffeine intake even when single parameter differences were compared.
In our study we verified that caffeine intake during operation break times does not lead to further deterioration of fine motor skills performance.