The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and hemostatic properties of the argon beam coagulator (ABC) at laparoscopy. The study is composed of two parts: laparoscopic results in five anesthetized animals and a preliminary clinical trial in 35 volunteers undergoing laparoscopy. Animals were evaluated during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy training course. Private patients undergoing operative laparoscopy voluntarily consented to a hospital Investigational Review Board-approved protocol to evaluate the ABC. The pigs were 3-month-old, healthy females. The patients were healthy volunteers undergoing laparoscopy for pain, infertility or cholecystectomy. Both pigs and human volunteers underwent operative laparoscopic use of the ABC for hemostasis and selected tissue electrocoagulation using a prototype 10-mm laparoscopic probe. The safety of the ABC was evaluated in the pigs by continuously monitoring heart rate, oxygen saturation and end-tidal CO2. Patients had similar clinical monitoring during operative laparoscopy, with observation of tissue effects of the ABC for hemostasis and tissue electrocoagulation. Laparoscopic use of the ABC in animals and patients produced no observable anesthetic changes, with both pigs and patients recovering normally. The ABC allowed smokeless, hemostatic tissue electrocoagulation, with a rapid non-touching technique easy to apply laparoscopically. We conclude that the ABC can safely be used laparoscopically with excellent hemostasis and effective controlled tissue electrocoagulation. The lack of smoke and the non-touching technique for delivery allow rapid laparoscopic application. The prototype 10-mm delivery probe is cumbersome, and the argon gas flow rate of 4 L/min with firing requires constant venting of the peritoneum with close monitoring of intraperitoneal pressures.