It wasn't so long ago that a person who had the gallbladder removed emerged from the hospital five days later with a prominent scar and spent the next month recovering from it. Today, thanks to laparoscopic surgery, one is likely to be home the next evening and back in a normal routine by the end of the week - with only a Band-Aid or two to show for the surgery. Laparoscopic surgery involves making a number of small incisions (less than half an inch long) and using special instruments and a special video camera to perform the operation. In order to do this, the abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide gas to create a space to work in. It is now possible to perform most general surgery operations laparoscopically.