What is the difference between laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgery and an open procedure?

Open surgery involves the surgeon creating a long incision to open the abdomen and operating with "traditional” medical instruments. Laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgery is an approach that allows the surgeon to perform the same procedure using several small incisions, a fiber-optic camera, video monitor, and long-handled instruments as well as why your surgeon may recommend a minimally invasive technique but switch to an open one.