Intraoperatively, it may be prudent at times to abandon or defer the intended therapeutic procedure due to adverse prevailing conditions. A decision to abandon or defer an endoscopic procedure would necessarily result in less morbidity compared with conventional open surgery. A retrospective review of endoscopic procedures that were abandoned or deferred and subsequent patient outcomes were noted. Between January 1998 to May 2003, 48 procedures out of a total of 11,550 endoscopic surgical procedures had to be abandoned. Previously unsuspected intraabdominal malignancy was the cause in 32 patients. Anesthesia-related problems led to the decision in 6 patients. Coincidental tuberculosis and failure in accessing the target organ were the cause in two patients each. An ectopic gallbladder, an absent gallbladder, a pancreatic phlegmon, and a failure to achieve proper single-lung ventilation led to the decision in one patient each. In two patients, presence of dense intraabdominal adhesions that precluded further progress led the surgeon to abandon the surgery. The patients with intraabdominal malignancy were staged for their disease and treated accordingly. Nine patients without malignancy who had their operation deferred due to diverse reasons were operated on a later date, whereas 4 patients were lost to follow-up. The 9 patients who underwent operation at a later date are well on follow-up. Four patients with intraabdominal malignancy died, whereas the others are well in follow-up after being treated according to the stage of their disease. Certain adverse situation encountered intraoperatively may lead the surgeon to change the approach to surgery and abandon the procedure. He may consider operation at a suitable time later or consider a different treatment altogether. The morbidity consequent to such a decision is much less if the operative approach is an endoscopic one.