The field of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has applications in all surgical disciplines.

Although this is a relatively new field, it is one of the fastest developing, and patient demands for more and more procedures performed through smaller incisions continues to grow.

Applications of the principles of MIS can be found in the following:

• Video-assisted thoracoscopic procedures

• Transplant surgery and the advent of laparoscopic donor nephrectomies which has increased the donor renal pool.

• Sentinel lymph node technology and radioguided parathyroid surgery.

• Gynecologic procedures include endoscopic techniques such as hysteros-copy to laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomies.

• Urologic surgeons perform cystoscopy, ureteroscopy and radical prostatectomies through a laparoscopic approach.

• Bariatric surgery with laparoscopic Roux-en-Y bypass and gastric banding procedures.

The goal of this chapter is to discuss the history, principles and common procedures performed by general surgeons.

The physiology and complications that are associated with laparoscopy will also be explored.

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