Inguinal hernia repair and pyloromyotomy are among the most common operations performed on children. In the last two decades minimally invasive surgery has been employed for an increasing number of these procedures. This review describes the development of the techniques involved, and their current role in therapy. A systematic review of the paediatric surgical literature since 1990 was performed on laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair and pyloromyotomy. Relevant publications were summarised. The first laparoscopic pyloromyotomy was described in 1991, the first laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair in children was published in 1998. The learning curve for both procedures is initially steep and reaches a plateau only after about 20 to 30 cases. Both randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses are available comparing the laparoscopic and open techniques for both procedures. The advantages of laparoscopic versus open pyloromyotomy include faster recovery and shorter hospital stay, at similar complication rates. The operation times of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair are shorter in bilateral cases, while the complication rate again is similar. However, the incidence of metachronous contralateral inguinal hernia is lower after laparoscopic repair. Laparoscopic pyloromyotomy and paediatric inguinal hernia repair require special skills. As a minimum, a surgeon's first 20 cases should therefore be performed under competent supervision. Besides resulting in smaller scars, both procedures have concrete advantages and the same complication rates compared to the open techniques. Therefore, both operations can be regarded as the current gold standard. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.