Laparoscopic surgery is a cutting-edge alternative to traditional abdominal surgery. Traditional abdominal surgeries require large incisions to see and access internal organs. Laparoscopic procedures, however, are altogether different. These procedures are performed by inserting a camera and instruments through small ports in the abdomen instead of one large incision. The camera offers detailed views of the abdomen, which veterinarians can view magnified on a monitor. During the surgery, the veterinary surgeon uses specialized instruments that can slide in and out of the small ports placed in the abdomen. These smaller incisions take much less time to heal than larger incisions, and laparoscopic procedures are generally less invasive than traditional surgeries.
At Timpanogos Animal Hospital, we routinely conduct spays laparoscopically. During a traditional canine spay, a two- to three-inch incision is made into the abdomen. The veterinary surgeon then 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. Then, because of the large incision into the abdomen, the pet patient’s activity must be restricted for one to two weeks after surgery to allow for proper healing.
Laparoscopic spays, however, are performed through two small ports. The camera and specialized instruments allow veterinary surgeons to visualize and cauterize the ligaments holding the ovaries in place. This allows for much more care than traditional operations, as it means the ovaries no longer need to be torn from the abdominal wall, so there is significantly less pain and bruising. After surgery, the surgeons close the two tiny incisions into the abdomen, 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 completely laparoscopically or can be assisted by a laparoscope at Timpanogos Animal Hospital include:
- Spays (Ovariectomy)
- Stomach tacking (gastropexy) to prevent bloat
- Bladder stone removal (cystotomy)
- Exploratory surgery
- Liver biopsy
For more information about laparoscopic procedures, or to schedule an appointment, contact Timpanogos Animal Hospital.