Laparoscopy surgery

Laparoscopy, also known as ‘keyhole’ or minimally invasive surgery, involves inserting a tiny rod attached to a camera into the abdomen (tummy) for exploration and surgical procedures. Traditional exploratory laparotomy (opening up the abdomen) has been the choice of most veterinary surgeons to visualise and gain access into the abdomen. This commonly involves a large incision along the midline of the abdomen. Some incisions can be as long as 20-40cm long in larger dogs!

Over the last 40 years there have been huge advances in techniques and equipment for laparoscopic procedures in the human field and now this technology is being adopted for veterinary applications by a few progressive practices. The benefits of this minimally invasive surgery include less tissue trauma which result in less pain and quicker recovery times.

The patient will receive a general anaesthetic just as for routine procedures. A special needle (Veress needle) is placed through the abdomen wall to inflate the abdomen with medical grade carbon dioxide. This increases the space within the abdomen allowing better visualisation and manoeuvrability of the instruments and internal tissues. A 1cm incision is then made at a suitable site to place the camera rod through. Depending on the procedure, there may be two or three small 1-2 cm incisions made in the patient’s abdomen. All visualisation, exploration and procedures will be done via these small incisions. After the procedure is completed, all instruments are removed, the abdomen is deflated and the small incisions are closed usually with one stitch or just skin glue.

For the Veterinary Surgeon, superior visualisation of the internal organs can be achieved as the scope magnifies everything and allows better visualisation of all areas of the abdomen from the diaphragm cranially to the pelvic inlet caudally. This enables a much more thorough examination of the abdominal organs. Bleeding is reduced and easily controlled using special diathermy (electrically heated) forceps and probes

For the animal, much smaller operating incisions, minimal tissue handling, means less trauma and therefore faster recovery times and less pain overall.

Exploratory laparotomy – visualising the abdominal organs to try and find abnormalities
Sampling of organs – Biopsies of the Liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen and lymph nodes
Biopsy of tumours and abnormal tissues.
Ovariectomy/ovariohysterectomy – Spaying
Cryptorchid testis removal (testicles retained in the abdomen)
Many other procedures, requiring access to the abdomen

“Daisy our bitch has just been spayed by keyhole method at Amity. She was very well cared for and her recovery was so quick you barely knew she had been in for an op. You can hardly see where the 2 small incisions were made.” – Linsey L

“Huge success” – Steve C