It is difficult to credit one individual with the pioneering of the laparoscopic approach. In 1902 Georg Kelling, of Dresden, Saxony, performed the first laparoscopic procedure in dogs and in 1910 Hans Christian Jacobaeus of Sweden reported the first laparoscopic operation in humans.
In the ensuing several decades, numerous individuals refined and popularized the approach further for laparoscopy. The introduction of computer chip television camera was a seminal event in the field of laparoscopy.
This innovation in technology provided the means to project a magnified view of the operative field onto a monitor, and at the same time freed both the operating surgeon's hands, thereby facilitating performance of complex laparoscopic procedures.
Prior to its conception, laparoscopy was a surgical approach with very limited application and used mainly for purposes of diagnosis and performance of simple procedures in gynecologic applications.
The first publication on Diagnostic Laparoscopy by Raoul Palmer, appeared in the early 1950s, followed by the publication of Frangenheim and Semm. Hans Lindermann and Kurt Semm practised CO2 hysteroscopy during the mid-seventies.
In 1972, Clarke invented, published, patented, presented and recorded on film laparoscopic surgery, with instruments marketed by the Ven Instrument Company of Buffalo, New York, USA.
In 1975, Tarasconi, from the Department of Ob-Gyn of the University of Passo Fundo Medical School (Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil), started his experience with organ ressection by Laparoscopy (Salpingectomy), first reported in the Third AAGL Meeting, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, november 1976 and later published in The Journal of Reproductive Medicine in 1981.
This Laparoscopic Surgical Procedure was the first Laparoscopic organ resection reported in the Medical Literature. The Abstract of his paper on "Endoscopic Salpingectomy" can be found at PubMed.
In 1981, Semm, from the Universitats Frauenklinik, Kiel, Germany, performed the first Laparoscopic Appendectomy. Following his lecture on Laparoscopic Appendectomy, the President of the German Surgical Society wrote to the Board of Directors of the German Gynecological society suggesting suspension of Semm from medical practice. Subsequently, Semm submitted a paper on Laparoscopic Appendectomy to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which was rejected as unacceptable for publication on the ground that the technique reported on was ' unethical.' His paper was finally published in the Journal Endoscopy.
Semm established several standard procedures that were regularly performed, such as ovarian cyst enucleation, myomectomy, treatment of ectopic pregnancy and finally laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (nowadays termed as Cervical intra-fascial Semm hysterectomy).
He also developed a medical instrument company Wisap in Munich, Germany, which still produces various endoscopic instruments of high quality. In 1985, he constructed the pelvi-trainer = laparo-trainer, a practical surgical model whereby colleagues could practice laparoscopic techniques.
Semm published over 1000 papers in various journals. He also produced over 30 endoscopic films and more than 20,000 colored slides to teach and inform interested colleague about his technique.
His first Atlas More Details on pelviscopy and hysteroscopy was published in 1976, a slide atlas on pelviscopy, hysteroscopy, and fetoscopy in 1979, and his books on gynecological endoscopic surgery in German, English and many other languages in 1984, 1987, and 2002.
Prior to 1990, the only specialty performing laparoscopy on a widespread basis was gynecology, mostly for relatively short, simple procedures such as a diagnostic laparoscopy or tubal ligation.
The introduction in 1990 of a laparoscopic clip applier with twenty automatically advancing clips (rather than a single load clip applier that would have to be taken out, reloaded and reintroduced for each clip application) made general surgeons more comfortable with making the leap to laparoscopic cholecystectomies (gall bladder removal).
On the other hand, some surgeons continue to use the single clip appliers as they save as much as $200 per case for the patient, detract nothing from the quality of the clip ligation, and add only seconds to case lengths.
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Last Updated: May 11, 2013