Some of our diagnostic procedures involve exploratory surgery, allowing us to better evaluate a diseased area visually or to get samples from the abnormal organ (biopsy), which can be submitted to a laboratory for evaluation. There are many other cases where we will perform surgery to definitively treat your pet’s problem. Examples of this include: removing tumors, removing foreign objects that get lodged in the stomach or intestines, removing bladder stones, and hernia repairs.
As in human medicine, many of these procedures are performed through conventional incisions. More and more frequently, however, we are resorting to less-invasive techniques to achieve the same results. Many biopsies can now be retrieved through tiny incisions using specifically designed biopsy instruments. In some cases, these instruments can be guided to the affected areas using imaging techniques such as ultrasound and CT scanning. In other cases, tiny cameras and instruments are introduced through small incisions to either obtain a biopsy or complete a procedure. The term laparosocopy is used to describe the use of camera-guided procedures in the abdomen, whereas it is termed thoracoscopy if it is performed in the chest cavity.
Upstate Veterinary Specialists has a complete array of laparoscopic and thoracoscopic equipment. A common procedure we perform and an example of this technology is laparoscopically-assisted gastropexy. Some large dogs are prone to a potentially fatal condition called gastric volvulus or “bloat“. In this condition, the stomach will rotate into an abnormal position. Using cameras and specially designed tools, the stomach is attached to the body wall to prevent it from rotating in the future.