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Laparoscopy & Endoscopy

What is Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy, or keyhole surgery, means performing surgery using tiny video cameras and fine instruments via tiny incisions. Laparoscopy is common place in human surgery, and is usually the preferred option for surgery when possible.

What are the advantages of laparoscopy?

– Less painful than standard surgery by 65-75%
– Greatly reduced risk of wound dehiscence and infection due to much smaller wound size
– Quicker return to normal activity within 2 days, compared to at least 2 to 3 weeks of restricted activity after normal abdominal surgery

When is laparoscopy indicated?

Common indications for laparoscopy include:
– Spays and undescended testicle neuters
– Bladder stone surgery
– Biopsies (liver, lymph node, kidney, gastro-intestinal, pancreas)
– Simple gastrointestinal foreign body obstructions

How different is a laparoscopic spay from a standard spay?

In a standard spay, a 5 cm to 12 cm incision is made to the abdomen, and both the ovaries and uterus are removed. The incision is then closed in 3 layers with sutures. In a laparoscopic spay, 2 to 3 tiny incisions of about 0.5 cm to 1 cm each are made in the abdomen to allow the passage of a special video camera and instruments. Only the ovaries are removed. The small incisions are closed with sutures.

Is there a health risk of leaving the uterus behind?

There is almost no risk in leaving the uterus intact, especially if dogs are spayed when relatively young and healthy. In Europe, sterilisation has been routinely carried out by removing the ovaries only.

Pyometra, or womb infection, only occurs under the influence of female hormone, and so does not occur naturally in dogs with the ovaries completely removed. Even dogs undergoing standard spays may develop pyometra in the small stump of the uterus attached to the cervix, but this almost always occurs when these dogs have had a part of their ovary left behind during the initial spay. Cancer of the uterus is very rare, and only statistically makes up about 0.3% of dogs with cancer.

Where can I go to for laparoscopic spays?

Amber Vet provides laparoscopy for spays and other surgeries. Spays can be done via laparoscopy for most sized dogs. Please contact us to find out more or to arrange an appointment.

What is Endoscopy?

Endoscopy involves using special flexible or rigid “tubes” with a digital camera and light source to non-invasively examine various parts of the body to diagnose growths and tumours, inflammatory disease, remove foreign bodies/stones and obtain biopsy samples.

Equipped with various types and sizes of endoscopes, endoscopy is commonly used for:

  • Gastrointestinal tract (Oesophagus, stomach, intestines, colon)
  • Essential in all animals with chronic vomiting, diarrhoea/soft stools, blood in stools.
  • Nasal cavity: Essential in all animals with chronic sneezing, nasal discharge, nose bleeds, distortion of the nostrils/nose bridge, or abnormal upper respiratory breathing sounds
  • Urinary tract (Urethra, bladder): For animals with chronic urinary signs (e.g. straining to urinate, blood in urine), to aid in diagnosis and removal of stones, tumours and chronic UTI (including biopsy/culture)
  • Ear canals (Outer and middle ear, ear drum): Essential in all animals with chronic/recurring ear infections to thoroughly flush out the ear canal, remove any foreign material that may be causing infection, and diagnose canal narrowing, tumours or other structural abnormalities.
  • Rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas: Dental and aural (ear) conditions.
Find out more document titled “Endoscopy for Small Mammal Pets (Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and Chinchillas)”.
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