Laparoscopic appendectomy is increasingly being used by general surgeons. The advantages of the procedure over open appendectomy are not as obvious as the advantages of laparoscopic cholecystectomy over open cholecystectomy. This study was a retrospective review of nonrandomized patients of two attending surgeons over the time period 4/11/91 to 2/15/93. Parameters examined included patient age, gender, operating room time, hospital cost, hospital stay, negative appendectomy rate, and wound infection rate. Results showed that there was no difference in the patient age. Gender was significantly different, with the laparoscopic group containing 68% females, whereas the open group contained only 39% (P < 0.01). Operating room time was significantly longer for the laparoscopic group by approximately 18 minutes (P < 0.05). Hospital cost was $1400.00 more expensive for the laparoscopic group (P < 0.05). Hospital stay and wound infection rates were not significantly different. The negative appendectomy rate was 37% for the laparoscopic group and 12% for the open group (P < 0.05). We conclude that laparoscopic is not superior to open appendectomy.