Telesurgical mentoring has evolved as an important subset of telemedicine, yet has remained an underutilized technique when all its potential is considered. As applied to surgery, telementoring is used when an experienced surgeon assists or directs another less experienced surgeon who is operating at a distance. Two- and three-dimensional, video-based laparoscopic procedures are an ideal platform for real-time transmission and thus for applying telementoring to surgery. The images viewed by the operating surgeon can easily be transmitted to a central 'telesurgical mentor' and permit an intraoperative interaction. Several studies have demonstrated the practicality, effectiveness and safety of surgical telementoring. The goal of this application of telemedicine is to improve surgical education and training, expand patient care and improve health care delivery by allowing access to surgical specialists. Eventually, surgical telementoring could assist in the provision of surgical care to underserved areas and potentially facilitate the teaching of advanced surgical skills worldwide.