Laparoscopic stomach surgery is usually for nonmalignant, small tumors. The stomach tumors most often operated this way are GastroIntestinal StromaTumors (GIST) that, if left untreated for a longer period, can become malignant.
The laparoscopic operation leaves four or five small scars. The advantage of buttonhole surgery is that the recovery period is much shorter, there is less pain, and there is virtually no risk of a scar hernia.
Today, chronic stomach and duodenal ulcers can also be treated with laparoscopy. If such an ulcer perforates, immediate surgery is indicated and can be laparoscopic if the problem is diagnosed promptly.