A voice-activated robotic arm named AESOP (automated endoscopic system for optimal positioning) has enabled the view through the laparoscopic camera to be kept in focus, but is very expensive. There is thus a need for a cheap, manually controlled, laparoscopic camera holder.Methods:
The original prototype utilized the principle of an adjustable desk lamp. This holder proved steady at any required angle. To protect the camera shaft, this was inserted through the wider part of a cut end 10 mm port before fixation in the holder. To improve manoeuvrability, a 'floating arm' was adopted between the table clamp and the holder. Subsequent developments included reduction in size of the modified desk lamp and water heating of the inverted protective sheath to minimize lens fogging. Pre-operatively, the holder is sterilized for 15 min in glutaraldehyde solution, while the floating arm is autoclaved.Results:
The instrument has been used in 42 laparoscopic operations in which a steady, well-focused view of the operating field has been attained.Conclusion:
The instrument is easily and cheaply constructed. It can be adapted to hold other endoscopic instruments as in anorectal laser surgery, or to hold the laparoscopic camera when this is used to perform microsurgery without a microscope. It is named 'the Boonpong laparoscopic camera holder' in memory of a Thai hero under whose Dunlop-Boonpong Scholarship the author has had the opportunity to gain some Australian surgical experience.