top of page

The Invention of the Laparoscopy (1901)

Georg Kelling (1866-1945) studied medicine at the University of Leipzig and launched his scientific career with the doctoral thesis entitled "On Measuring Stomach Capacity." He conducted experiments on animals and cadavers in which he insufflated air into the stomach and established the exact quantity needed to fill it.

Measuring Stomach Capacity by Georg Kelling

In 1901, Kelling focused his attention on bleeding into the abdominal cavity, that time fatal for most patients. To halt blood seepage into the abdomen, Kelling proposed a high-pressure pneumoperitoneum (insufflation of air into the abdominal cavity), a technique he called the "air-tamponade.”

Air-tamponade device

The creation of pneumoperitoneum was not a new idea. The first scientist to conduct systematic experiments with insufflation on animals was Georg Recklinghausen of Berlin (around 1877). 30. The earliest clinical pneumoperitoneum was performed by Albert von Mosetig-Moorhof (1838-1907) of Vienna. In May 1882, he insufflated air into the abdominal cavity of a four-year-old boy suffering from tuberculosis of the peritoneum.

In 1901, Kelling used both his experiments and experiments of other European scientists to calculate that a pressure of about 50 mm Hg could alleviate bleeding into the abdomen. Kelling devoted himself to inventing a special apparatus and conducting numerous experiments on dogs and cadavers.