Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a newly developed technique for removing the gallbladder. Its future is very promising and this operation will probably become the preferred method of cholecystectomy51 for most patients. However, the limitations of laparoscopic cholecystectomy should be realized and great care must be taken to avoid technical complications. If laparoscopic cholecystectomy is associated with a much higher incidence of injuries to the bile duct than is traditional open cholecystectomy, its promise of decreasing pain, disability, and costs to patients undergoing cholecystectomy will be unfulfilled. The practicing general surgeon should learn laparoscopic techniques, since much of the future of abdominal surgery will ultimately reside in applying "less invasive" methods to perform standard operations.36 When embarking on a new procedure such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy, it is imperative that the surgeon remember the basis of his or her craft, primum non nocere.
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