Comparison of the Memory Foam Pad Versus the Bean Bag with Shoulder Braces in Preventing Patient Displacement during Gynecologic Laparoscopic Surgery.

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To compare the amount of patient displacement when a memory foam pad is used versus a bean bag with shoulder braces. The secondary aim was to evaluate for postoperative extremity symptoms including pain, numbness, and weakness.


A prospective randomized pilot study (Canadian Task Force classification I).


A single academic institution.


Women ≥18 years of age undergoing laparoscopic or robotic gynecologic surgery.


Patients were randomized to be positioned on the memory foam pad (group A) or the bean bag with shoulder braces (group B) preoperatively. The patients' positions were measured before and after the procedure, and the displacement was recorded. Patients were followed postoperatively and questioned regarding upper extremity or lower extremity weakness, numbness, and pain. Demographic characteristics were collected using the electronic medical record.


Forty-three patients were included in the study (22 in group A and 21 in group B). The demographic and intraoperative characteristics of the patients were similar in both groups. The patients in group A moved a mean distance of 3.80 ± 3.32 cm, whereas those in group B moved a mean distance of 1.07 ± 1.93 cm (p = .002). A Pearson correlation coefficient did not yield a correlation between patient displacement and age, body mass index, length of surgery, or pathology weight. In group A, 2 patients had lower extremity numbness, and 1 patient had upper extremity numbness. In group B, 1 patient had upper extremity pain, and 1 patient had both upper and lower extremity numbness. These patients had complete resolution of their symptoms within the first 2 weeks postoperatively, with the exception of 1 patient in group A whose lower extremity numbness resolved 3 months postoperatively.


Positioning patients on the bean bag with shoulder braces resulted in significantly less displacement during gynecologic laparoscopic surgery when compared with the memory foam pad. All postoperative extremity numbness, weakness, and pain were temporary and resolved completely in our cohort. A larger study would be necessary to determine the true incidence of peripheral nerve injuries because these are rare complications of laparoscopic surgeries.

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