Low-cost Laparoscopic Surgery with Tele-mentoring (2018-2019)

For much of the 20th century, surgeons advanced the techniques of traditional open surgery. In the 1980s, the field of surgery advanced further with the development of laparoscopy. This technology allowed surgeons to make two to four small incisions and operate with an intra-abdominal camera and instruments. Benefits of laparoscopic surgery compared to open surgery include decreases in pain, recovery time, intra-abdominal scar tissue, wound infections, abdominal scar size, wound breakdown and length of hospital stay. However, laparoscopic surgery is expensive and demands a great amount of infrastructure to maintain the equipment. These costs are prohibitive to low- and middle-income countries, and therefore most surgeries in these countries are performed with the traditional, open approach.

This Bass Connections project’s goal was to develop a low-cost, reusable laparoscope appropriate for use in a low-income country. They aimed for a design that allows images to be transferred over the internet, enabling surgeons in high- and low-income countries to interact in real-time during surgical cases, thus allowing for remote mentoring or “tele-mentoring”.

The team successfully produced two prototypes: ReadyView Laparoscope and ReadyView Lift Retractor. The ReadyView Laparoscope has a better resolution than the standard of care laparoscopic and an equally bright light source. The prototype is powered by a laptop computer and displays the image on a laptop computer. The prototype can be built for $120 (in comparison to the current $216,000). The ReadyView Lift Retractor was created to eliminate the need for carbon dioxide insufflation and constant pressure regulation/constant power supply. In 2019-2020, the team plans to continue work on the prototypes.


Fall 2018 – Summer 2019

Team Outputs

Tamera Fitzgerald. NIH U01 - Cancer Technologies for LMICs ($2,000,000 grant awarded from National Health Institutes, 2022)

Low-Cost Laparoscopic Surgery with Tele-Mentoring (poster by Selena J. An, Erin Brown, Aryaman Gupta, Bailey Knight, Shreyas Kulkarni, Junyu Liang, Claire North, Apoorva Ramamurthy, Natalie Rozman, Chris Lam, Jenna Mueller, Tamara Fitzgerald, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019)

Novel Technique for Gas-Independent Laparoscopic Procedures in LMICs (poster by Aryaman Gupta, Erin Brown, Apoorva Ramamurthy, Selena An, Bailey Knight, Natalie Rozman, Claire North, Shreyas Kulkarni, Junyu Liang, Chris Lam, Jenna Mueller, Tamara Fitzgerald, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019)

Laparoscopic Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa: Is It a Luxury? (poster by Jenna Mueller and Tamara Fitzgerald, presented at Think Global Series at Duke Global Health Institute, January 19, 2019)


Aryaman Gupta


DGHI’s Unique Approach to Global Health

This Team in the News

These Ph.D. Graduates Incorporated Bass Connections into Their Doctoral Education

Meet the Members of the 2018-19 Student Advisory Council

See related team, Sustainable Laparoscopic Surgery for Low-Income Countries: FDA Approval and Business Model for Access (2019-2020).

Health workers

Team Leaders

  • Tamara Fitzgerald, School of Medicine-Surgery: Pediatric General Surgery
  • Jenna Mueller, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering

/graduate Team Members

  • Jingjing An, Medicine MD Fourth Year
  • Christopher Lam, Global Health - MSc
  • Apoorva Ramamurthy, Biomedical Engineering-MS
  • Natalie Rozman, Electrical/Computer Engg-PHD, Electrical/Computer Engg-MS

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Erin Brown, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Aryaman Gupta, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Bailey Knight, Biology (BS)
  • Shreyas Kulkarni, Computer Science (BS)
  • Junyu Liang, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Claire North, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Julius Mugaga, Makerere University - Kampala
  • John Sekabira, Mulago Hospital, Uganda
  • Juliet Ssekabunga, Department of Neurosurgery, Mulago Hospital (Uganda)