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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: December 2009

2 - EQUIPMENT

Summary

Successful operative laparoscopy requires the proper basic and specialized equipment to make difficult procedures technically possible and safe. Most operations can be done with two or three forceps, a suction—irrigator probe, a bipolar electrocoagulator, and a CO2 laser. With the rapid growth of operative laparoscopy, disposable, semireusable, and reusable instruments have become available. In selecting the appropriate instruments, their cost and effectiveness should be considered because too many instruments clutter the field and increase operative time.

With videolaseroscopy, the operation is observed by the surgeon and operating room staff on video monitors. The CO2 laser is used through the operative channel of the laparoscope for cutting and establishing hemostasis of small blood vessels. Electrocoagulation with a bipolar forceps is used to control bleeding from larger vessels. These instruments enable surgeons to increase the diversity of laparoscopic procedures. Some of them have multiple functions, whereas others are specialized. Most are designed to fit through trocar sleeves between 2 mm and 33 mm in diameter.

THE BASIC INSTRUMENTS

The Laparoscope

The endoscope allows one to view the abdominal and pelvic cavities and is the most important piece of equipment. It must be in optimal condition. Although the diameter of laparoscopes varies from 2 to 12 mm and the angle of view varies from 0° to 90°, the most commonly used laparoscopes are straight diagnostic (Figure 2.1A) and angled operative laparoscopes (Figure 2.1B,C).