PURPOSE: Previous abdominal surgery has been one of the relative contraindications of laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Recently, the accumulation of experience and the development of skill have widened the indications of LC. The aim of this study was to elucidate the effectiveness and safety of LC in patients with a history of previous abdominal surgery. METHODS: The medical records of patients treated with LC at Ewha Womans University, Mokdong Hospital from March 1997 to December 2000 were reviewed. Operative results were compared between the previous abdominal-surgery group (Group A) and the non-operative history group (Group B). Group A consisted of 99 cases: 91 cases with one operation history, 7 with two, and 1 with three. Group B consisted of 99 cases randomly selected out of 437 cases without a history of previous abdominal surgery in the same period. We compared the mean operative time, conversion rate, rate of drain insertion, starting day of postoperative diet and hospital stay. RESULTS: In groups A and B, the mean ages were 52 and 51.4 years olds, the male to female ratios 1 : 2.7 and 1 : 1.08, and the mean operative times 88.8 and 91.1minutes (P=0.740), respectively. The conversion rates were 3% and the time of postoperative diet was 2.3 days in both groups. The rates of drain insertion were 21% and 15% (P=0.372), the hospital stay was 5.4 days and 5.6 days (P=0.769), the morbidity was 4% and 1% (P=0.371), respectively. There were no cases of mortality in either group. CONCLUSION: The operative results of the patients with a history of previous abdominal surgery were similar to those of the patients without an operative history. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was an effective and safe method in the patients with a history of previous abdominal surgery.