Laparoscopic surgery has many advantages but it is not without complications. The complexity of the surgery significantly influences the complication rate. Laparoscopic surgeons ought to be aware of the possible complications and how they could be prevented, recognized without delay, and managed safely and efficiently. Important complications include injuries to the vessels, bowel and urinary tract. Incisional hernia ought to be reduced by careful closure of the fascia whenever a trocar > or =10 mm is used at the extraumbilical site. Gas embolism is a rare but potentially life threatening complication. Shoulder pain is a minor complication but is exceedingly common; it is less likely to occur if as much gas as possible is removed at the end of the operation while the patient is still in head down Trendelenburg position. Rare complications include pneumothorax, subcutaneous and pre-peritoneal emphysema, cardiac arrhythmia, nerve injury and venous thrombosis. Laparoscopic surgeons should also understand the principles of electrosurgery and how to avoid complications arising from the use of electrical energy including capacitative coupling, direct coupling and insulation failure.