Laparoscopy has emerged from limited use in general surgical practice to widespread indications among surgical oncologists. This method is beneficial in the detection and staging of upper gastrointestinal malignancies. Patients with unresectable disease often are spared unnecessary laparotomy, thus avoiding the consequent morbidity. The role of laparoscopic surgery as a therapeutic tool in patients with resectable upper gastrointestinal malignancy remains to be defined, but early reports suggest that it may indeed have a role, and that it will be added to the armamentarium of the surgical oncologist.
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