We present the design, construction, and characterization of a spherical-coordinate scanning, reflection-mode confocal laser microscope (SCSLM). Two system designs are presented, namely a conventional bulk optics object-scanning design and a preliminary optical-fiber-based two-axis optics/one-axis object scanning version. The bulk-optics design is characterized with respect to its optical sectioning property. Sample 3-D images acquired using the SCSLM are also presented, including a reconstruction of an ex vivo pig's cornea. The bulk optics design offers a higher light throughput, but it cannot be easily miniaturized for future integration in a microsurgical robot design. The fiber-based design has a reduced SNR but can be potentially made lightweight and small enough to be integrated as the imaging subsystem of a microsurgical robot.