Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive way to perform surgery in the abdomen. Laparoscopy is quickly becoming the preferred method for procedures in people including: gall bladder surgery, biopsies of tumors, and many others.
What does minimally invasive mean? Procedures that are performed with less impact to the patient in terms of pain and length of recovery are considered minimally invasive. Think about having your blood drawn for a blood test — this is one of the most minimally invasive test available. X-rays are a bit more invasive, as they expose the body to radiation. Surgery is the most invasive — the effect on the body causes some pain and results in a recovery period that will vary depending on the procedure.
To be more specific in terms of surgery, traditional abdominal surgery requires a lengthy incision through the muscles of the abdomen to allow the surgeon access to the organs inside. The length of the incision will vary with each surgery; spays can be up to 3 inches, and abdominal exploratory can be up to 12 inches! Recovery is at least 2 weeks for all abdominal surgeries.
On the other hand, surgery done using Laparoscopy requires two (or three) incisions that are only ½- inch long, or less, thus allowing a camera (Laparoscope) and one or two special surgical instruments into the abdomen to perform the surgery. The camera projects images from inside the abdomen onto a TV screen, and the surgeon uses the instruments to lift, move, ligate ("tie-off") and cut structures. Smaller incisions are less painful and heal faster; recovery from a laparoscopic surgery is approximately half that of regular surgery and pain is reduced by approximately 70%!
In 2010, Countryside became one of the first general veterinary practices in Massachusetts to offer Laparoscopy. We commonly perform laparoscopic spays, gastropexies (a procedure to prevent a fatal twisting of the stomach), and biopsies. Laparoscopy is performed Monday through Friday. We are continually impressed with the post-surgical recoveries of our patients and are proud to offer this cutting edge option to our patients.