The flexible endoscope is increasingly used to perform minimal invasive interventions. A novel add-on platform allows single-person control of both endoscope and instrument at the site of intervention. The setup changes the current routine of handling the endoscope. This study aims to determine if the platform allows effective and efficient manipulation to position the endoscope at potential intervention sites throughout the bowel. Five experts in flexible endoscopy first performed three colonoscopies on a computer simulator using the conventional angulation wheels. Next they trained with the joystick interface to achieve their personal level of intubation time with low pain score. 14 PhD students (novices) without hands-on experience performed the same colonoscopy case using either the conventional angulation wheels or joystick interface. Both novice groups trained to gain the average expert level. The cecal intubation time, pain score and visualization performance (% of bowel wall) were recorded. All experts reached their personal intubation time in 6 ± 6 sessions. Three experts completed their learning curve with low pain score in 8 ± 6 sessions. The novices required 11 ± 6 sessions using conventional angulation wheels, and 12 ± 6 sessions using the joystick interface. There was no difference in the visualization performance between the novice and between the expert groups. This study shows that the add-on platform enables endoscope manipulation required to perform colonoscopy. Experts need only a relatively short training period. Novices are as effective and as efficient in endoscope manipulation when comparing the add-on platform with conventional endoscope control.
- Flexible endoscopy