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While the past decade has seen the exciting growth of minimally invasive surgery through videoscopic technology, important advances have also been occurring in the area of endoluminal gastrointestinal therapy. In the past 30 years, the development of endoluminal gastrointestinal techniques has essentially revolutionized the treatment of colonic polyposis, peptic ulcer bleeding, choledocholithiasis, and the creation of enteral access for feeding. Other areas in which endoluminal therapy has had a great impact has been in the palliation of malignant obstruction of the biliary and gastrointestinal tracts by means of endoscopic stenting.

Laparoscopic approaches have established themselves as the gold standard for the treatment of gas-troesophaeal reflux, morbid obesity, cholecystectomy, and appendectomy. Yet, new clinical and experimental work in flexible endoluminal and transluminal methodologies suggests that even less invasive procedures may be on the horizon.

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