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Laparoscopic Surgery

We are very proud that Eglinton Vet is one of only a few clinics in the GTA to offer the option of having your pet’s surgical procedure(s) performed laparoscopically.

Laparoscopy involves the use of a fibre optic telescope and camera to visualize areas within the patient’s body to complete a procedure. Although laparoscopy is most commonly used in veterinary patients for spays (laparoscopic ovariohysterectomies), it can also be used to visualize the nasal cavity and ears (otoscopy), perform prophylactic gastropexies (a surgery to prevent bloat in large breed dogs), to do biopsies of liver/intestines and to facilitate the removal of bladder stones using the laparoscope.

Our team would be happy to answer any questions that you may have about laparoscopy, and/or to book a consultation with one of our doctors. Our laparoscopic procedures are currently being performed by several surgeons with training and experience with this equipment. They are typically available three days per week for laparoscopic procedures. We do see patients who are not regular clients of Eglinton Vet, and will work with your regular veterinarian to do any pre-op work, and we expect that these patients will then return to their regular vet following recovery from the procedure.

Laparoscopic spays

The most common procedure that we perform with our laparoscopic equipment is a canine spay. Please see the link which will take you to a video of our doctor performing a laparoscopic spay.

Our laparoscopic equipment allows access to the abdomen via one small incision, only 11mm in size. The spay procedure can then be performed completely through this small incision, by manipulating internal tissues which are visualized on a computer monitor under magnification.

Laparoscopic spays are believed to be less painful due to the small incision size, as well as the way that the surgery itself is performed. Using the laparoscope, tissues are identified and cauterized prior to being cut, rather than being torn as during a traditional spay. Direct manipulation and cauterization of blood vessels results in less trauma to nerves (fewer pain sensations) and minimal bleeding. In fact, it was concluded in a study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association that laparoscopic spays are associated with up to 65% less pain than traditional spays.

Performing spays in this way allows us to send your pet home the same day and the small incision also means that your pet can return to normal activity in a few days (instead of 10-14 days as required after a traditional spay). Many dogs and will also not need to wear an Elizabethan collar (hurray!).

Laparoscopic Assisted Gastropexies

Laparoscopic Assisted Gastropexies are a relatively new, less invasive way of surgically preventing life-threatening gastric dilation/volvulus (GDV or “bloat”) in at-risk breeds. A GDV occurs when the stomach fills with gas, causing the stomach to become distended, then subsequently twists upon itself. When the stomach twists, the entrance and exit become occluded trapping gas and food in the stomach. The torsion also traps blood flow into and out of the stomach creating a life-threatening situation. Dogs with untreated GDV can die in minutes to a few hours. A prophylactic gastropexy involves tacking the outer lining of the stomach to the abdominal wall. Once healed, this strong bond prevents the stomach from twisting on itself in the future.

Preventing a GDV from happening is highly recommended for dogs at risk, usually breeds with large deep chests. Examples of at risk breeds include:

  • Great Danes

  • Saint Bernards

  • Weimeraners

  • Boxers

  • Standard Poodles

  • Doberman Pinschers

  • Irish Setters

  • Basset Hounds

Traditionally, having a gastropexy performed on your dog would require a full abdominal incision which could lead to longer recovery times and more post-operative discomfort. Laparoscopic gastropexies allow us to tack the dog’s stomach to the abdominal wall through a very small incision (approx. 2″ long). This minimally invasive approach leads to less post-operative discomfort and a much faster recovery time.