Automatic surgical phase recognition in laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair with artificial intelligence

M. Takeuchi, T. Collins, A. Ndagijimana, H. Kawakubo, Y. Kitagawa, J. Marescaux, D. Mutter, S. Perretta, A. Hostettler, B. Dallemagne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Because of the complexity of the intra-abdominal anatomy in the posterior approach, a longer learning curve has been observed in laparoscopic transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP) inguinal hernia repair. Consequently, automatic tools using artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor TAPP procedures and assess learning curves are required. The primary objective of this study was to establish a deep learning-based automated surgical phase recognition system for TAPP. A secondary objective was to investigate the relationship between surgical skills and phase duration. Methods: This study enrolled 119 patients who underwent the TAPP procedure. The surgical videos were annotated (delineated in time) and split into seven surgical phases (preparation, peritoneal flap incision, peritoneal flap dissection, hernia dissection, mesh deployment, mesh fixation, peritoneal flap closure, and additional closure). An AI model was trained to automatically recognize surgical phases from videos. The relationship between phase duration and surgical skills were also evaluated. Results: A fourfold cross-validation was used to assess the performance of the AI model. The accuracy was 88.81 and 85.82%, in unilateral and bilateral cases, respectively. In unilateral hernia cases, the duration of peritoneal incision (p = 0.003) and hernia dissection (p = 0.014) detected via AI were significantly shorter for experts than for trainees. Conclusion: An automated surgical phase recognition system was established for TAPP using deep learning with a high accuracy. Our AI-based system can be useful for the automatic monitoring of surgery progress, improving OR efficiency, evaluating surgical skills and video-based surgical education. Specific phase durations detected via the AI model were significantly associated with the surgeons’ learning curve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1669-1678
Number of pages10
JournalHernia : the journal of hernias and abdominal wall surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Automatic surgical phase recognition
  • Laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair
  • Learning curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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