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.

In the News

  • Our research is making news! Read about our research regarding one aspect of surgical safety here.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dr. Sutkin and Dr. Brommelsiek were featured in an article in UMKC Today covering their unusual collaboration of art and science, with a goal towards surgical safety. That article is fascinating and Dr. Brommelsiek’s artwork is pleasing and unique. Click on the link to take a look!
  • Congratulations to Suniya Ablatt for having two posters accepted for (virtual) presentation at the 47th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of  Gynecologic Surgeons. The event takes place June 27 – 30, 2021.
  • Dr. Sutkin recently virtually presented a poster highlighting the team’s efforts towards the development of a  simulated pelvic model at the 2021 Surgeons and Engineers: A Dialogue on Surgical Simulation. March 10, 2021
  • Congratulations to Imaima Casubhoy for acceptance of her poster for presentation at the 2021 Gold Virtual Humanism Conference titled Humanism and Healing Conference: Structural Racism and its Impact on Medicine. Imaima’s poster will be on display from April 26 – May 10th, 2021!
  • Dr. Sutkin virtually presented a poster at the AUGS PFD Week 2020 meeting highlighting “Retropubic Trocar Modified with a Load Cell to Verify Contact with Pubic Bone” which took place  Oct 8 – 10, 2020
  • Rebecca Kurian also virtually presented a poster at AUGS PFD Week 2020,  which took place  Oct 8 – 10, 2020 titled, “The Risk of Primary Gynecologic Cancer after Hysteropexy”, a result of our Health Facts research  project.


Surgical Innovation Lab Covid-19 Statement

We have restarted our in-person research efforts while following UMKC and CDC guidelines regarding virus safety. The majority of our meetings are held virtually. In-person experimentation occurs with all participants and investigators wearing masks and socially distanced. All instruments, clothing , and surfaces are cleaned regularly. Please contact us with any questions.