Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

Major Professor

Susana Lai-Yuen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stuart Hart, M.D.

Committee Member

Patricia Zarate, Ph.D.


suturing device, laparoscopy, hysterectomy, medical device design, prototype


Minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery has completely changed the focus of surgery becoming an alternative to various types of open surgery. Minimally invasive surgery avoids invasive open surgery as the operation is performed through one or more small incisions in the abdomen and using a small camera called laparoscope. Through these incisions, surgeons insert specialized surgical instruments to perform the operation resulting in less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stay, and faster recovery. However, the main problems during minimally-invasive surgery are the limited space for operating instruments and the reduced visibility and range of motion inside the patient’s body. During minimally-invasive surgery, one of the most difficult and time consuming surgical procedures is suturing and knot tying. This procedure significantly increases the operation time as it requires advanced techniques and extensive experience by surgeons.The main goal of this research is to investigate, design, and develop a new suturing instrument to facilitate suturing procedures during minimally invasive surgery.Qualitative research data was collected through interviews with a surgeon and six indepth observations of minimally invasive surgeries at Tampa General Hospital. Different design concepts and mechanisms were created using SolidWorks CAD software, and tested using SimulationXpress in order to identify dimensions, materials and expected performance of the design and its components. The prototypes of the device were made using a Dimension SST 768 FDM machine and tested by the surgeon to ensure that the final design meets the specified needs and criteria. This new device will eliminate the use of many different devices during the operation and allow the use of any type of suture. The proposed suturing device aims to benefit both patients and surgeons. For surgeons, the new device aims to decrease the number of steps for laparoscopic suturing through an intuitive and ergonomic design. For patients, the proposed device will reduce time during surgery and under general anesthesia leading towards improved health care.