Laparoscopic Ambidexterity in Left-Handed Trainees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: There is a paucity of objective data about the advantages or disadvantages of handedness in surgery. Given the need for ambidexterity in laparoscopic surgery, our study aimed to identify the patterns in handedness and performance on basic laparoscopic tasks. Methods: A retrospective analysis of intern laparoscopic performance on bimanual tasks was assessed for delta time (differences in task time between the dominant and nondominant hand) between left-hand and right-hand dominant interns. Results: Data were analyzed for 16 residents. 25% were left-handed dominant (4/16) and 75% were right-handed dominant (12/16). Of the left-handed surgeons, 75% (3/4) operated primarily with their right hand. There was a significant difference between the time to task completion in Task 2 of left-handed and right-handed residents with median (IQR) time 94 s (90.25-97) and 127 s (104.25-128.5), respectively (P value = 0.02). No significant difference was seen between left-handed and right-handed residents on Task 1 (50 s versus 49 s) and Task 3 (51 s versus 59.5 s). In all three tasks, however, left-handed dominant residents had smaller variability (IQR 4.5-8 s versus 7-24.25 s) and significantly shorter delta times. Conclusions: Although true ambidexterity is rare, the ability to be facile with both hands is crucial for laparoscopic surgery. Our data show that variability in performance between the dominant hand and nondominant hand was remarkably smaller for left-hand dominant residents. This remains true despite the majority learning to operate with their nondominant hand. These data demonstrate a possible advantage to being left-hand dominant and may lead to further insights into variations of skill acquisition and improved curriculum development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Ambidexterity
  • At-home simulation training
  • Bimanual Dexterity
  • Laparoscopic curriculum
  • Left-handed
  • Manual Asymmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Laparoscopic Ambidexterity in Left-Handed Trainees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this