A three-dimensional laparoscope that can capture three-dimensional images during surgery is reported. The principle is solely based on the manipulation of polarized light by a cellophane half-wave plate rather than computer processing; hence there is no time delay (it operates in real time) and lesions are viewed in true color, which is important for diagnostics. Three-dimensional images are obtained with a single laparoscope. A unique feature of this three-dimensional laparoscope is that it includes a virtual ruler to measure distances without physically touching the affected areas. The structure is simple, sturdy, lightweight, and its diameter is no bigger than a standard 10 mm diam laparoscope.
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