Most of the open renal procedures have been duplicated or approximated by laparoscopy. Past concerns about increased operative time, cost, resection completeness, and port site metastases are being overruled or put into perspective as experience with laparoscopic radical nephrectomy (LRN) is gained: necessary skills can be acquired, operative times are approaching those for open procedure, and a 14% difference in cost is counterbalanced by reduced postoperative expenditures. Moreover, LRN is acknowledged by its quality-of-life advantages-reduced morbidity and improved cosmetic outcome. Disease-free rate with LRN at last follow-up is 100% for TNM stage I and 89% +/- 6.6 for stage II (1997 classification). Complications are acceptable with an 8% to 35% incidence of minor complications and a 3% to 19% incidence of severe complications. Conversion to an open procedure occurs in 0% to 10% of cases. The procedure's limitations and the appropriate criteria for patient selection are evident. The learning process is believed to last for approximately 20 procedures and patient selection is based on both clinical criteria and one's insight on his location on the learning curve. Therefore, LRN is becoming the treatment of choice for most TNM stages I and II renal tumors. Moreover, recent data advocating pre-immunotherapy nephrectomy in metastatic patients may permit laparoscopic nephrectomy to further benefit selected metastatic patients by potentially shortening the time interval from nephrectomy to immunotherapy and improving immune responsiveness.