Call me back
Make an enquiry

How physical fitness can improve surgical performance

Posted: Aug 16 2016

Is it essential that your surgeon is physically fit?

Surgery is a highly skilled occupation that necessitates various abilities and attributes. To achieve good surgical performance, surgeons must possess exceptional skills, receive thorough training and gain extensive experience. However, an often overlooked aspect that contributes to surgical success is the level of physical fitness. This article explores why physical fitness is crucial for surgeons and how it enhances their surgical performance. We will delve into the physical attributes that affect surgical performance, the role of mental sharpness, and the potential future of physical training for surgeons.

Physical Attributes Affecting Surgical Performance

To achieve optimal surgical performance, surgeons must possess specific physical attributes that directly impact their ability to excel in the operating room. Let’s explore the crucial role of physical characteristics in surgical performance, highlighting the importance of accuracy, quick reactions, stamina, and posture for surgeons.

Accuracy: The Role of “Good Hands”

While microsurgery may not entail physical exertion like manual labour, the physical demands of eye surgery should not be underestimated. Eye surgeons perform bimanual surgery, requiring both hands to pinpoint precise incision positions. Hence, having “good hands” is vital for surgical accuracy.

Quick Reactions: Staying Alert and Poised

A surgeon must remain continuously alert and poised to respond swiftly to any unexpected occurrences during surgery. Quick reactions are essential for handling unforeseen complications and ensuring optimal patient outcomes.

Stamina: Sustaining Performance Throughout the Day

Eye surgeons often spend whole days in the operating theatre, performing operations lasting over 90 minutes each. To maintain consistent performance throughout the day, surgeons must possess good physical stamina. Endurance and vitality are essential to avoiding fatigue and delivering optimal surgical results.

Posture: The Importance of Ergonomics

Performing microsurgery for extended periods can lead to back pain and other issues if the surgeon’s posture is suboptimal. Proper posture during surgery is crucial for preventing musculoskeletal problems and ensuring long-term physical well-being.

Mental Sharpness and Its Impact on Surgical Performance

Surgeons’ mental acuity and sharpness significantly affect their overall surgical performance. This section examines the impact of mental sharpness on surgical outcomes. It highlights how hormone control, psychological preparation, and learning from past performance can enhance a surgeon’s cognitive abilities in the operating room.

Hormone Control: Enhancing Brain Function

Physical fitness not only enhances muscle strength but also aids in hormonal regulation. Regular exercise helps maintain optimal hormone levels, thereby improving brain function. Surgeons prioritising physical fitness cultivate sharper, more alert minds, which is essential for performing surgery with precision and focus.

Psychological Preparation: Harnessing Visualisation Techniques

Surgeons can benefit from employing visualisation techniques similar to top athletes. These techniques help mentally prepare surgeons for complex procedures, enabling them to approach surgeries confidently and clearly.

Learning from Past Performance: Reviewing Surgical Videos

Similar to athletes who review game footage to identify areas for improvement, surgeons can analyse their surgical performance by reviewing recorded procedures. This video analysis provides valuable insights into the technique, identifies weaknesses, and fosters a commitment to continual improvement.

Into the Future: Workouts for Surgeons

Surgery is similar to activities such as Formula 1 racing and golf, requiring precision, stamina, and agility. Like athletes, surgeons may soon adopt physical training regimens to enhance their performance. By incorporating structured workouts and physical conditioning, surgical practitioners can improve surgical outcomes and ultimately benefit their patients.

Exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle and should not be neglected. While the exact amount and type of training one should do regularly is hotly debated, the bottom line is that engaging in regular physical activity can improve one’s overall well-being.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity exercise three times per week for 20 minutes. This recommendation generally entails brisk walking, swimming, resistance training two to three times per week, and flexibility exercises two to three times per week. It is important to note that other forms of light daily activity, such as garden work and other chores, can also get your heart pumping and thus count towards this goal.

This may also interest you:

Four reasons why it’s worth getting laser eye surgery

The effects of computer use on eye health and vision

Contact sports and laser eye surgery

Trust your OCL Vision surgeons to deliver outstanding results

Physical fitness plays a vital role in surgical performance. Surgeons who prioritise their physical well-being gain significant advantages in accuracy, quick reactions, stamina, and posture. Moreover, maintaining physical fitness enhances mental sharpness, improving surgical outcomes. As we look to the future, incorporating physical training programmes into surgical practice may become the norm, parallelling the approach taken by athletes in other high-performance fields. Surgeons can maximise their potential and provide better patient care by investing in physical fitness. If you’re seeking surgical expertise, book a consultation with OCL Vision today to experience the benefits of our skilled and physically fit surgeons.

OCL Vision is England’s only surgeon-owned, comprehensive private eye care group. With OCL Vision surgeons operating in dedicated clinics in London and Elstree, Hertfordshire, patients can access world-class eye care closer to home with a specialist consultant who has dedicated their career to a specific branch of Ophthalmology.

OCL Vision’s clinics on New Cavendish Street in central London, Kensington and at Elstree’s Centennial Park provide a wide range of eye-related surgical procedures, including cataract surgery, LASIK and LASEK laser eye surgery, refractive lens exchange surgery, such as well as other types of surgical vision correction techniques.


Find out more about what to look for when choosing a laser eye surgery clinic, or contact us today to discuss treatment options.

Learn more