The mission of the Surgical Innovation Lab is to investigate what threatens patient safety in the operating room. We approach this complex problem through multiple methodologies, including bioengineering, and interprofessional and observational approaches. We are committed to involving learners from UMKC and strive to mentor each student's ability to acquire and critically interpret research data and apply it to theories of surgical learning and patient safety.

Motion Analysis Marker Capture. Mock Setup.
Motion Analysis Marker Capture. Mock Setup.

Motion Analysis Marker Capture. Mock Setup.

The Surgilab uses motion analysis to capture data related to the surgeon's movements. Motion capture markers are attached to multiple points on the surgeon practicing on a simulation model.

The surgical team
The surgical team

The surgical team

Surgery is a team sport. All members of the team are unified in accomplishing the same goal: Effective surgery performed safely.


Where We've Been

Meet the Team

Contact us

Who we are:

Welcome to Surgilab! Our lab was formed in 2016 in collaboration with the UMKC School of Medicine. Our research aims to understand how patient safety is threatened in the Operating Room and how to make surgery safer. As surgeons and researchers, we should investigate every surgical error, no matter how minor, and analyze it so we can identify a preventive solution.  We aim to approach this complex problem through multiple methodologies, including biomedical engineering, interprofessional collaboration, and ethnography, including film study of the operating room. Our goal is to reduce the surgical error rate As Low As Reasonably Possible (ALARP). Our research is generously supported by the University of Missouri and the Victor and Caroline Schutte Foundation.

Recent Publications

*denotes student as first author

*Arif MA, Stylianou AP, Bachar A, King GW, Sutkin G. Retropubic trocar modified with a load cell to verify contact with pubic bone. In Press, Surgery, 2022, ISSN 0039-6060 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2022.06.011.

*Balasubramanian S, Wang X, Sahil S, Cheng A-L, Sutkin G, Shepherd JP. Risk factors for development of acute pyelonephritis in women with a positive urine culture. Neurourol Urodyn. 2022; 1- 8. doi:10.1002/nau.25005.

*Saniya Ablatt, Xi Wang, Suman Sahil, An-Lin Cheng, Jonathan P. Shepherd, Gary Sutkin,
Reoperation rates of stress incontinence surgery in rural vs urban hospitals.
AJOG Global Reports, Volume 2, Issue 3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xagr.2022.100059.

Brommelsiek M, Krishnan T, Rudy P, Viswanathan N, Sutkin G. Human-Caused Sound Distractors and their Impact on Operating Room Team Function. World Journal of Surgery March 2022. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00268-022-06526-9. PMID: 35347392.

Davies A, Wickoren NL, Brommelsiek M, Qureshi F, Cianciolo AT, Sutkin G. Unpacked expertise: Difficult mask ventilation, judgment cues, and critical decision making. Accepted for publication American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology Journal, Dec 2021.

Sutkin G, Littleton EB, Arnold L, Kanter SL. Optimizing surgical teaching through the lens of sociocultural learning theory. American Journal of Surgery, March 2022. EPub ahead of print.

*Mueller F, Brommelsiek M, Sutkin G. Mental 3D Visualization: Building Surgical Resilience for Performing High-Risk Procedures. Journal of Surgical Education. 2022 Feb 2:S1931-7204(22)00007-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2022.01.007. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35123912.

*Kurian R, Kirchhoff-Rowald A, Sahil S, Cheng A-L, Wang X, Shepherd J, Sutkin G. The Risk of Primary Uterine and Cervical Cancer After Hysteropexy, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: March 2021(27)3:e493-e496. doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000001030. PMID: 33620910.

*Liu C, McKenzie A, Sutkin G. Semantically Ambiguous Language in the Teaching Operating Room. Journal of Surgical Education. 2021 Apr 23:S1931-7204(21)00073-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2021.03.020. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33903062

In The News

Dr. Sutkin and Dr. Brommelsiek’s Webinar is open for registration

Register now for the Nov. 16, 2022  webinar, “Visual Excavation and the Poetics of Art and Surgery”, at www.kumc.edu/art-and-surgery

In this free webinar we will explore the interprofessional relationship between the arts and sciences in the setting of the operating room. There will be an opportunity for Q&A.

This webinar is brought to you by the Office of Interprofessional Practice, Education, Policy and Research (iPEPR) at the University of Kansas School of Nursing.

Our research is making news! Click on the title to read the article.

UMKC News: UMKC Infectious Disease Collaboration Awarded $879K Surgilab is proud and excited to be involved with this new multidisciplinary CDC research project.

P.R.N. News: UMKC professors study the impact of sound on operating room safety 

Kansas reflector: Prescription for faulty communication in operating rooms: Be explicit, not polite

UMKC Today: Art ands Science Collaborate for Safer Surgeries

Congratulations to our collaborator, Dr. Patricia O’Sullivan – UCSF, on the occasion of being awarded the 2022 UMC Utrecht Harmen Tiddens Medal. Watch the lecture June 2, 4pm CET (7am PT, 9am CT). Flyer: https://tinyurl.com/2384pmu7. Access to the lecture:(Registration may be required) https://tinyurl.com/25vu3npn

Congratulations to Dr. Margaret Brommelsiek, whose abstract , “Poetics of Surgery and Artmaking: Haptic Perception through Subjective Embodiment”, has been accepted for a short communication at AMEE 2022

Congratulations to Fahad Qureshie and team for winning first place at the 10th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day 2022

Also presenting at the event were:


Congratulations to Shiva Balasubramanian, Winner in the Clinical Category of the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction 2022 Essay Competition. In addition to receiving the award, Shiva traveled to the 2022 meeting in San Diego, CA to present his poster, titled “Risk Factors for Development of Acute Pyelonephritis in Women with a Positive Urine Culture”.

Also presenting posters at the The 10th annual UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit (HSSRS) on March 22, 2022 are:

Mahadev A, Bachar A, McKenzie A, Sutkin G. Miscommunication and Ambiguous Language in Surgery: A Semantic Analysis of Surgeon Intraoperative Dialogue in Context.

Said T, Brommelsiek M, Bachar A, Kashif J, Sutkin G. The Daunting and Educational Operating room: A Discourse on Medical Students Speaking Up in the OR.

Krishnan T, Rudy P, Bachar A, Viswanathan N, Brommelsiek B, Sutkin G. Understanding the Impact of Facial PPE on Speech Attenuation.

Balasubramanian S, Wang X, Sahil S, Cheng A-L, Bachar A, Sutkin G, Shepherd JP. Risk Factors for Development of Acute Pyelonephritis in Women with a Positive Urine Culture.

Ramprasad A, Casubhoy I, Bachar A, Meister M, Bethman B, Sutkin G. Communal Versus Agentic Spoken Language Among Surgeons in the Operating Room.

Arif MA, Bachar A, Sutkin G, Stylianou A, King G. Retropubic Trocar Modified with a Load Cell to Verify Contact with Pubic Bone.

Davies AN, Wickoren NL, Brommelsiek M, Qureshi F, Kirchhoff-Rowald A, Cianciolo AT, Sutkin G. Difficult Mask Ventilation: Unpacking expertise, Judgment Cues, and Critical Decision Making During High Priority Events.

Well-deserved congratulations to Dr. Sutkin, the 2021 recipient of the UMKC N.T. VEATCH AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH AND CREATIVITY! This award is supported through an endowment established in the name of Nathan Thomas Veatch, one of the co-founders of the Kansas City-based Black and Veatch Corporation. It recognizes UMKC faculty members who have distinguished themselves in the area of scholarship and creativity. While Dr. Sutkin was named the awardee, we at the Surgical Innovation lab feel very strongly that this award is in fact, recognition of the creativity of our team members!

Congratulations to Faith Mueller for having her abstract, “Cognitive Mapping and its  Role in Surgical Resilience”, accepted as a short communication to AMEE 2021 in The Virtual Conference.  The event takes place August 27 – 31, 2021.

Congratulations to Dr. Sutkin and Dr. Brommelsiek for having their abstract , “Visual Excavation: Reconstructing Health Professions Education Research into Visual
Artifacts”, accepted at AMEE 2021 in The Virtual Conference as well. The event takes place August 27 – 31, 2021.