Herein I describe my initial experience with the use of a novel device, the Omniport, in 15 patients undergoing hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery (HALS) on the liver and pancreas. The device, which essentially consists of a hand cuff with a spiral inflatable valve, enables withdrawal and reinsertion of the hand without loss of pneumoperitoneum during the operation. The cuff's effective sealing pressure is equal to the pneumoperitoneal pressure; hence, hand comfort is maintained during the intervention. The device was effective in maintaining pneumoperitoneum in all cases. All but one operation was completed with the HALS approach. The one conversion was due to bleeding from the superior mesenteric vein during a 90% pancreaticosplenectomy. Immediate effective control of the bleeding by compression between the thumb and index finger was achieved, and the cuff of the Omniport was deflated as the incision was enlarged. There were no postoperative complications. The HALS approach has distinct advantages in terms of exposure and safety over the total laparoscopic technique for major surgery on the liver and pancreas, and it is recommended for these interventions.