Surgery is never something to look forward to, but in many cases it is the best (and sometimes only) solution. When your pet needs surgery, you can count on the capable, highly trained veterinarians at Complete Pet Care to use the most advanced, efficient and cost-effective techniques available to keep your pet safe and healthy. That’s why, at Complete Pet Care, we try to opt for laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgery whenever appropriate. With laparoscopic surgery, our veterinarians are able to reduce pain and shorten recovery time so your pet is happier and more comfortable.

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In addition to a shorter recovery time, laparoscopy is often a quicker procedure than open surgery, allowing vets and technicians to shorten the amount of time pets are kept under anesthesia. This is especially beneficial for pets who are more susceptible to anesthesia risks, such as senior pets, toy dog breeds and brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs, boxers, Boston terriers and pugs.

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What is laparoscopic surgery, and what are its benefits?

Laparoscopic surgery is a specialized form of abdominal surgery that has been the gold standard in human medicine for decades. Unlike traditional surgery, which requires a large incision, laparoscopy involves several tiny incisions of no more than ½ inch each. Surgeons use cameras on scopes to transmit high-quality images of the abdomen, allowing for a way to move their instruments precisely. This way, they can make all the same cuts, sutures and extractions as traditional open surgery with significantly smaller incisions.

Surgical recovery can be painful and restrictive. We know how difficult it can be to keep an energetic pet quiet and still for 10 minutes, let alone 10 to 14 days after a procedure. With the small incisions used in this type of surgery, recovery time after laparoscopy can require as little as a three-day rest period! Quicker healing generally also means less pain. Not only will your pet’s discomfort be decreased, but in some cases, patients require much shorter courses of pain management medication than with traditional surgery.

What surgeries can be performed laparoscopically?

The procedure most commonly performed laparoscopically is the spay. Using minimally invasive surgery, pain is reduced and the risk of hemorrhage decreases significantly. And because this technique minimizes soft tissue trauma, recovery time can be shortened by up to 65 percent compared to a traditional spay surgery! Large-breed dogs also benefit from laparoscopic surgery, which is currently the leading method of performing a preventive stomach tack to reduce the risk of a serious condition called gastric dilation or “bloat.” Bloat is a life-threatening problem for deep-chested dogs, and this procedure prevents the stomach from rotating abnormally. For dogs predisposed to gastric dilation, a stomach tack can be the difference between life and death.

Additionally, laparoscopy can be used to remove the spleen, gall bladder and bladder stones, and provides a minimally invasive alternative to abdominal organ biopsies. Because the high-resolution cameras give veterinarians a vivid picture of the abdominal organs, laparoscopy can even be used in advanced diagnostics.

Is laparoscopic surgery right for my pet?

Laparoscopic surgery is as safe and effective as traditional surgery, but not all procedures or pets are good candidates for it. As with most surgeries, unique health conditions and age may change surgical protocol or the decision to operate. At Complete Pet Care, our veterinarians will use the most thorough methods to evaluate your individual pet’s health and work with you to develop a surgical plan tailored to their needs. Contact us to find out if laparoscopic surgery might be a good choice for your pet!

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