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Filed Under: Internal Medicine


Laparoscopy is minimally invasive abdominal surgery; it requires only two to three very small (<1 inch) incisions as opposed to the larger, more extensive incision associated with traditional open abdominal surgery.  Laparoscopy can be considered for organ biopsies (liver, intestine) and other procedures (gastropexy).


Your Pet is placed under general anesthesia, a needle is inserted near the “belly button” and nitrogen gas is used to inflate the abdomen.  Next, two or three small incisions are made to place access ports to allow introduction of a camera (laparoscope) and instruments.  First, the laparoscope is inserted through one port to visualize the abdominal cavity and organs of interest. The Doctor views the image on a digital monitor, and surgical instruments (for taking biopsies, suturing, or other actions) are inserted through the second and/or third ports.



    Figure 1 – normal pancreas lying along the duodenum.   


Figure 2 – image of gastropexy procedure.


Figure 3- image of damaged liver (left) and normal gall bladder (right) with surrounding tan fat.



Figures 4 & 5 – images of liver biopsy procedure; notice the minimal amount of bleeding in the second image (post-biopsy).


Your Pet’s vital signs are constantly monitored while under general anesthesia and during post-op recovery.  Pets will usually stay in the Hospital overnight for support (IV fluids, pain medications) and close monitoring.  Biopsies or other samples are submitted for laboratory analysis to obtain a diagnosis. 


Laparoscopy has a faster procedure time, is generally considered to be more comfortable for your Pet than traditional surgery, and post-operative recovery time is normally faster.