We are very fortunate to have multiple surgical modalities available including traditional surgical methods, carbon dioxide laser, and endoscopy/ laparoscopy.
Carbon Dioxide Laser
Laser surgical methods are an exciting new field that use an invisible beam of light to make surgical incisions. They provide almost immediate hemostasis (stopping unnecessary blood flow) and may aid in decreasing pain from the surgery. The beam a light used for cutting does not cause crushing, tearing, or bruising to tissues, so healing time may be reduced in these patients. Lasers also help to reduce the risk of infection because it sterilizes an area as it removes tissue, killing potentially infectious bacteria.
Laser surgery is routinely used for canine neuters, feline declaws, ear flap hematomas, and ear canal polyps. They are also ideal for mass removals on your pet's skin. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions about this method of surgery with your pets.
Endoscopes are devices that have tiny cameras embedded on long tubes. These tubes can be inserted into the body in a relatively non-invasive manner and visualize a variety of areas. Endoscopic procedures are preformed under general anesthesia, but the surgical time may be less than a traditional procedure as the endoscope requires only a small hole, if any, for adequate viewing.
Different procedures that are preformed with the endoscope include:
Cystoscopy - Visualization of the urinary bladder using an endoscope. This can be beneficial for diagnosing diseases such as bladder stones, cancer of the bladder, or cystitis (inflammation of the bladder). Biopsies of this area can be obtained without having to cut into the abdomen and the bladder, then creating less discomfort for your pet and speedier healing times.
- Rhinoscopy/ Bronchoscopy - Exploration of the nasal cavity and upper airways. These procdures can be beneficial for patients with infections of the airway. Rhiniscopy is also beneficial for patients with chronic nasal problems as a very small endoscope can be used to travel into the passageways of the nose.
- Gastointestinal Endoscopy - Visualization of the gastrointestinal (stomach and intestines) tract using a long flexible endoscope passing through the mouth. This procedure is very beneficial for patients that have esophageal problems, stomach or intestinal foreign bodies, such as Chrsitmas ornaments, golf balls, or even fish hooks! It is also possible to diagnose stomach ulcers, neoplasia, and obtain biopsies for evaluation.
- Laparoscopy - Examination of the abdominal cavity using a small, rigid endoscope. This is beneficial for looking at the organs in the abdomen without making large, painful incisions. While this procedure is not ideal for all surgical candidates, it may be optimal for certain conditions, such as liver biopsies, or good visualization of the kidneys, spleen, or gall bladder.