A number of different procedures can be performed laparoscopically, including gallbladder removal (laparoscopic cholecystectomy), esophageal surgery (laparoscopic fundoplication), colon surgery (laparoscopic colectomy), and surgery on the stomach and spleen. One advantage of laparoscopic surgery is that patients recover much more quickly than they do from standard open surgery in which a large incision is used. Because the surgeon creates only a few small incisions, rather than one large incision, post-surgery pain is generally reduced.
Update Date 7/28/2015
Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.