Advances in minimally invasive surgery have made laparoscopy and full-thickness bowel biopsy possible in the investigation of patients with suspected gastrointestinal neuromuscular disorders. The safety and diagnostic yield of this investigation have not been formally reported. A prospective study was undertaken of 124 patients with clinico-physiological diagnoses of chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, enteric dysmotility and severe irritable bowel syndrome undergoing LFTB in three European teaching centres with expertise in the management of gastrointestinal neuromuscular disorders. Perioperative data were collected including complications. Diagnostic yield was expressed as proportion with well-established specific neuromuscular abnormalities based on a protocol of routine and immunohistochemical techniques. The majority of patients underwent a laparoscopically assisted procedure with extracorporeal biopsy. Median operating time was 50 min, conversion rate 2% and length of stay 1 day. There was an 8% readmission rate for obstructive symptoms but minimal other morbidity and no mortality. Overall specific diagnostic yield was 81%, being high for jejunal biopsies (89%) but low for a small number of ileal and colonic biopsies. Laparoscopy and full-thickness biopsy of the bowel appears acceptable in terms of safety. It should be performed in a jejunal site to achieve a high diagnostic yield.