Laparoscopy, or “key hole surgery “ as it is sometimes known, has become increasingly common in human surgery and we now have the facilities at Donaldson’s Vets to perform surgical procedures using this minimally invasive technique.

The benefits of laparoscopy over conventional surgery are many: in addition to the smaller surgical incisions, our patients experience reduced post-operative pain, are able to be discharged from the hospital more quickly and have a faster post-operative recovery.

One of the main benefits is the view that we are able to achieve inside the abdomen. When we view the image taken by the camera on the screen during surgery, the structures are enormously magnified. This allows for greater accuracy during surgery and a more detailed examination of the abdomen.

Laparoscopy is ideal for sick and elderly animals where subjecting them to a full conventional surgery may not be possible.

It is also ideal for routine neutering of young bitches where restricting their exercise for an extended period of time after the surgery can be problematic.

We are often presented with animals where physical examination, blood tests, x-rays or ultrasound scans have suggested a problem but where the biopsy of an abdominal organ would be the only way to achieve an absolutely confirmed diagnosis. Often in these patients, a conventional exploratory procedure cannot be justified and, without a confirmed diagnosis, treatment can be compromised. Now, through Laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery, we can take the required biopsy samples to allow more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Laparoscopy is technically very demanding of the surgeon and the surgical team and requires some very expensive equipment so laparoscopic surgery is usually a little more expensive than conventional surgery.

While Laparoscopic surgery is obviously not suitable for all, it is another really useful technique which can result in a speedier return to normality for our much loved pets after either illness or routine elective surgery.