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In Surgery ; h5-index 54.0

BACKGROUND : Our previous work classified a taxonomy of needle driving gestures during a vesicourethral anastomosis of robotic radical prostatectomy in association with tissue tears and patient outcomes. Herein, we train deep learning-based computer vision to automate the identification and classification of suturing gestures for needle driving attempts.

METHODS : Two independent raters manually annotated live suturing video clips to label timepoints and gestures. Identification (2,395 videos) and classification (511 videos) datasets were compiled to train computer vision models to produce 2- and 5-class label predictions, respectively. Networks were trained on inputs of raw red/blue/green pixels as well as optical flow for each frame. We explore the effect of different recurrent models (long short-term memory versus convolutional long short-term memory). All models were trained on 80/20 train/test splits.

RESULTS : We observe that all models are able to reliably predict either the presence of a gesture (identification, area under the curve: 0.88) as well as the type of gesture (classification, area under the curve: 0.87) at significantly above chance levels. For both gesture identification and classification datasets, we observed no effect of recurrent classification model choice on performance.

CONCLUSION : Our results demonstrate computer vision's ability to recognize features that not only can identify the action of suturing but also distinguish between different classifications of suturing gestures. This demonstrates the potential to utilize deep learning computer vision toward future automation of surgical skill assessment.

Luongo Francisco, Hakim Ryan, Nguyen Jessica H, Anandkumar Animashree, Hung Andrew J