BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic surgery has led to great clinical improvements in many fields of surgery; however, it requires the use of trocars, which may lead to complications as well as postoperative pain. The complications include intra-abdominal vascular and visceral injury, trocar site bleeding, herniation and infection. Many of these are extremely rare, such as vascular and visceral injury, but may be life-threatening; therefore, it is important to determine how these types of complications may be prevented. It is hypothesised that trocar-related complications and pain may be attributable to certain types of trocars. This systematic review was designed to improve patient safety by determining which, if any, specific trocar types are less likely to result in complications and postoperative pain.