Since its advent in the early 1990s, laparoscopic surgical staging for early ovarian cancer has been explored as an option with the potential to offer women equivalent cancer control and survival as provided by laparotomy but with the clear benefits of minimally invasive surgery. A limited but expanding body of literature suggests aggressive surgical staging can be performed with equivalent tissue assessment compared with laparotomy. Given the lack of randomized, controlled trials, the risks and benefits of such a procedure remain ambiguous. This review summarizes the current body of literature regarding the role of laparoscopy in upfront surgical staging of ovarian cancer. This review presents the history, rationale, and established benefits and risks of utilizing this approach in women who present with malignancy that appears confined to the ovary. Although retrospective data confirm the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of laparoscopic staging of early ovarian cancer, more prospective data will be required to confirm equivalent survival in a patient population that has the potential to be cured.