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Special Topic Issue: Digestive Surgery 1995, Vol. 12, No. 5 Although laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the preferred procedure for symptomatic gallstone disease and acute cholecystitis, the use of this technique in colorectal surgery is still controversial and not yet widely in use. This publication offers readers a timely and critical appraisal of laparoscopic colon surgery in benign disease and malignancy. Reports from five countries describe experiences with laparoscopic colon surgery, including operative techniques, indications, complications, resection rates, duration of recovery, and cost effectiveness. The authors report that although the procedure is being applied with increasing frequency in benign disease, its use in colorectal cancer gives cause for concern due to the alarming rate of port-site metastasis. The overwhelming consensus is that more controlled trials are needed to determine the potential and specific limitations of laparoscopic colorectal surgery. Well-written and succinct, this publication effectively outlines the outstanding issues in this very challenging area of gastroenterologic surgery.