Endoscopic Surgery – Flexible Endoscopy, Laparoscopy for Pets

The use of small cameras to perform diagnostics and surgery has been the standard of care for 10 to 15 years in human medicine and is now available for animals also! Flexible endoscopy allows cameras to be passed into the stomach and colon, Laparoscopy (also called rigid endoscopy) can be used for abdominal and thoracic (chest and lung) procedures such as liver biopsies and Gastropexys (also called stomach tacking).

  • Benefits
    • Small incisions - Usually 1/4 to 1/2 inch
    • Less Pain - Small incisions are less painful and heal easier
    • Better Visualization - Images are magnified and projected onto a monitor for easier viewing. Angled optics allow for looking around corners and into crevices that may not be visualized with traditional surgery.
    • "A picture is worth a thousand words" - Seeing structures like the liver or kidney allow biopsies to be taken from specific areas of interest that may not be visualized on x-ray or ultrasound.
  • Common Indications for Endoscopic Surgery
Gastropexy (Stomach Tack) in breeds likely to bloat such as Great Danes, Standard Poodles, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Labradors, Retrievers, etc.). Prophylactic gastropexy (permanently suturing the stomach to the body wall) is used to prevent gastric volvulus; a life threatening condition where the stomach rotates on itself leading to bloating and death within hours.
Gastropexy (Stomach Tack)
  • Bladder Evaluation - Diagnosing and treating urinary problems, persistent infections or removal of stones.
    Bladder evaluation

  • Cryptorchid Testicle Removal – Retained testicles in the abdomen can now be removed with small incisions.
    Cryptorchid Testicle Removal

  • Nasal Biopsies
    Nasal Biopsies

  • Organ Biopsies - Liver, Kidney, Pancreatic, etc.
    Biopsies - Liver, Kidney, Pancreatic, etc.

  • Cancer Staging - Staging of cancer to determine treatment options - Many cancers are very treatable with surgery or other modalities. Veterinarians and owners often do not want to put an animal through a major surgery to remove a cancerous growth if the cancer has spread to other regions. Spread often indicates the need for chemotherapy or radiation. It may also mean that the surgery will not extend the animal's quality of life. Those animals can be checked first with the endoscope through a very small incision to determine if major surgery will be helpful and/or get biopsies for a definitive diagnosis. This avoids a potentially long recovery from major surgery allowing the animal to go home quickly.
    Cancer Staging

  • Foreign Body Removal - This Corn Cob was removed with the help of a flexible endoscope.
    Foreign Body Removal from Stomach