The development of new medical electronic devices and equipment has increased the use of electrical apparatuses in surgery. Many studies have reported the association of long-term exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) with diseases or cancer. Robotic surgery has emerged as an alternative tool to overcome the disadvantages of conventional laparoscopic surgery. However, there has been no report regarding how much ELF-MF surgeons are exposed to during laparoscopic and robotic surgeries. In this observational study, we aimed to measure and compare the ELF-MFs that surgeons are exposed to during laparoscopic and robotic surgery. The intensities of the ELF-MFs surgeons are exposed to were measured every 4 seconds for 20 cases of laparoscopic surgery and 20 cases of robotic surgery using portable ELF-MF measuring devices with logging capability. The mean ELF-MF exposures were 0.6 ± 0.1 mG for laparoscopic surgeries and 0.3±0.0mG for robotic surgeries (significantly lower with P < 0.001 by Mann-Whitney U test). Our results show that the ELF-MF exposure levels of surgeons in both robotic and conventional laparoscopic surgery were lower than 2mG, which is the most stringent level considered safe in many studies. However, we should not overlook the effects of longterm ELF-MF exposure during many surgeries in the course of a surgeon's career.
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