A systematic review of annotation for surgical process model analysis in minimally invasive surgery based on video

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Surgical endoscopy








Annotation; Minimally invasive surgery; Ontology; Surgical data science; Surgical process model; Surgical video


BACKGROUND: Annotated data are foundational to applications of supervised machine learning. However, there seems to be a lack of common language used in the field of surgical data science. The aim of this study is to review the process of annotation and semantics used in the creation of SPM for minimally invasive surgery videos. METHODS: For this systematic review, we reviewed articles indexed in the MEDLINE database from January 2000 until March 2022. We selected articles using surgical video annotations to describe a surgical process model in the field of minimally invasive surgery. We excluded studies focusing on instrument detection or recognition of anatomical areas only. The risk of bias was evaluated with the Newcastle Ottawa Quality assessment tool. Data from the studies were visually presented in table using the SPIDER tool. RESULTS: Of the 2806 articles identified, 34 were selected for review. Twenty-two were in the field of digestive surgery, six in ophthalmologic surgery only, one in neurosurgery, three in gynecologic surgery, and two in mixed fields. Thirty-one studies (88.2%) were dedicated to phase, step, or action recognition and mainly relied on a very simple formalization (29, 85.2%). Clinical information in the datasets was lacking for studies using available public datasets. The process of annotation for surgical process model was lacking and poorly described, and description of the surgical procedures was highly variable between studies. CONCLUSION: Surgical video annotation lacks a rigorous and reproducible framework. This leads to difficulties in sharing videos between institutions and hospitals because of the different languages used. There is a need to develop and use common ontology to improve libraries of annotated surgical videos.