Laparoscopic Surgery for Dogs & Cats
This innovative technology allows us to perform advanced surgeries in a minimally invasive manner utilizing a video camera to guide the surgeon.
Laparoscopic procedures that we perform include:
- Preventative gastropexy (to prevent gastric dilatation and volvulus or GDV)
- Cryptorchid neuter
- and Liver biopsy to name a few.
Gastric volvulus and dilatation, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening condition that primarily affects large breeds dogs. Distention of the stomach with gas, fluid or food, and twisting of the stomach along its axis are common features of bloat. A surgical procedure to treat bloat, called a gastropexy, involves tacking the stomach to the right side of the body wall.
GDV Preventative Procedure
Prophylactic gastropexy is recommended to prevent bloat in high-risk large breed dogs. These include great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, German shepherds, standard poodles, and bloodhounds. Previously this surgery was performed through a 12-inch abdominal incision. Now, a minimally invasive procedure called, laparoscopic gastropexy can be performed to achieve the same result. Laparoscopic gastropexy can be performed in conjunction with other procedures such as laparoscopic spaying and laparoscopic removal of abdominal testes (cryptorchidectomy). Minimally invasive surgery reduces morbidity and postsurgical pain, as compared to open conventional gastropexy.
Laparoscopic Gastropexy Technique
A scope (camera) is inserted into the abdominal cavity through a 1 cm incision. A second 5 mm instrument port is established in the abdomen. This port serves to pick up the stomach with a laparoscopic instrument. A 2.5 cm incision is made on the right body wall in the predetermined gastropexy site, just through the skin. Once the stomach is pulled through the incision in the body wall, an incision is made into the serosa. Sutures are passed through the body wall and into the serosa of the stomach. The sutures are then tied to tack the stomach to the body wall.
Benefits of the Laparoscopic Gastropexy
- Small incisions, therefore less scarring
- Less bruising of the abdominal scar
- Less postsurgical pain
- Quicker and better recovery
- Prophylactic surgery prevents life-threatening twist of stomach and the more expensive cost of treating life-threatening bloat.
“This was my first experience with Dr. Lauren Forhecz and I was very impressed. She got down on the floor to examine with my usually anxious Beagle and it was the first time I've ever seen him bond with a vet. Just my usual comment: wish there were more holistic options. :) —Gail T.”