Laparoscopic surgeries offer a cutting edge alternative to traditional abdominal surgery. Traditional abdominal surgeries involve making a large incision into the abdomen to be able to see and access the internal organs. In contrast, a laparoscopic procedure is performed by inserting a camera and instruments through small ports into the abdomen. The camera offers very detailed views of the abdomen which are magnified and displayed on a monitor. The surgeon performs surgery using specialized instruments that can slide in and out of the small ports placed in the abdomen.
One example of a procedure that can be performed laparoscopically is a spay. During a traditional canine spay, a two to three inch incision is made into the abdomen. The surgeon locates the ovaries and pulls them away from their attachment to the abdominal wall by tearing the ligaments that hold them in place. This tearing causes pain and bruising. Because of the large incision into the abdomen, the patient’s activity needs to be restricted for one to two weeks after surgery.
A laparoscopic spay is performed entirely within in the abdomen through two small ports. The camera and specialized instruments allow the surgeons to precisely visualize and cauterize the ligaments holding the ovaries in place and there is no need for them to be torn. After the surgery is completed, the two tiny incisions into the abdomen are closed, and the pet can return to normal activity the following day. The result is a faster, more comfortable recovery.
While not all abdominal surgeries can be performed laparoscopically, many can. Some surgeries cannot be performed completely laparoscopically, but can still be made less invasive by using the laparoscope to assist in the surgery.
Surgeries that can be performed laparoscopically or laparoscope assisted include:
Stomach tacking (gastropexy) to prevent bloat
Bladder stone removal (cystotomy)