Over the last six years, streaming media has emerged as a powerful tool for delivering multimedia content over networks. Concurrently, wireless technology has evolved, freeing users from desktop boundaries and wired infrastructures. At the University of Kentucky Medical Center, we have integrated these technologies to develop a system that can wirelessly transmit live surgery from the operating room to a handheld computer. This study establishes the feasibility of using our system to view surgeries and describes the effect of bandwidth on image quality. A live laparoscopic ventral hernia repair was transmitted to a single handheld computer using five encoding speeds at a constant frame rate, and the quality of the resulting streaming images was evaluated. No video images were rendered when video data were encoded at 28.8 kilobytes per second (Kbps), the slowest encoding bitrate studied. The highest quality images were rendered at encoding speeds greater than or equal to 150 Kbps. Of note, a 15 second transmission delay was experienced using all four encoding schemes that rendered video images. We believe that the wireless transmission of streaming video to handheld computers has tremendous potential to enhance surgical education. For medical students and residents, the ability to view live surgeries, lectures, courses and seminars on handheld computers means a larger number of learning opportunities. In addition, we envision that wireless enabled devices may be used to telemonitor surgical procedures. However, bandwidth availability and streaming delay are major issues that must be addressed before wireless telementoring becomes a reality.