The first known laparoscopic procedure was performed in 1901 when a surgeon placed a cystoscope (tube with camera-like lens) into the abdominal cavity to observe the effect of increased intra-abdominal pressure on the small bowel.
Over the following several decades many advances were made for the cameras, trochars (medical device used to create ports for laparoscopic instruments), methods of expanding the abdominal cavity with air to create surgical space, and for the laparoscopic instruments themselves.
The first laparoscopic operative procedure (not just diagnostic) on the gastrointestinal tract was performed in 1983 when a gynecologist removed an appendix. In 1985 new camera technology greatly advanced laparoscopic visualization and the first successful laparoscopic cholecystectomy (lap chole/gallbladder removal) was performed in Germany later that year. The first lap chole performed in the US occurred in 1987. Since then, the lap chole has become one of the most common procedures performed by general surgeons, and became the "gold standard" treatment for gallbladder disease in the early 1990's.
Today most abdominal procedures can be performed laparoscopically. Advantages of laparoscopic surgery include smaller incisions, less pain, faster discharge from the hospital, quicker return to work / daily activities, improved cosmetic results, less narcotic use, and sometimes better long-term results from conventional open surgery.
To learn more, call PILARS at 410-912-6350 or 1-877-456-6350 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday.