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Top 5 Laparoscopic Surgery FAQs

At Roosevelt Veterinary Center, our animal hospital offers laparoscopic surgery as safe alternative to traditional spay surgery. This surgery is a popular choice for pet owners because it is minimally invasive, which reduces the risk for surgical complications and shortens a pet’s recovery period. If you are considering laparoscopic surgery for your pet, it is natural to have questions about this procedure and what to expect following surgery. Below, our Brewster veterinarian answers five of the most frequently asked laparoscopic surgery questions.

#1: What is laparoscopic surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive form of surgery that utilizes a laparoscope to assist our veterinarian during surgery. A laparoscope is a slim device with a tiny camera on the end of it. Images from the camera are transmitted to a monitor providing direct visualization during the surgical process. The laparoscope acts as the veterinarian’s “eye” providing a close-up view of a pet’s internal organs.

#2: How is laparoscopic surgery different from traditional spay surgery?

In traditional spay surgery, a 2” to 5” incision is made in the pet’s abdomen. The veterinarian will then remove the ovarian ligaments from the abdominal wall. Unfortunately, this removal process can be very harsh for pets, causing internal bruising and post-operative pain, especially for larger dogs. Additionally, incisions may take up to two weeks to heal. During this time, there is an increased risk that a pet may tear her incision open, leading in infection and additional complications.

#3: What are the benefits of laparoscopic surgery?

There are a number of advantages to laparoscopic surgery. These advantages include shortened anesthesia time; in most cases, a pet is able to go home the same day. Additional advantages include reduced blood loss, a smaller incision to shorten recovery time, less pain and discomfort for your pet, and faster recovery time. Laparoscopic surgery also reduces internal organ exposure to possible external contaminants, which reduces the risk for infection and complications.

#4: In addition to spaying pets, is laparoscopic surgery available for other procedures?

Yes, our veterinary hospital offers laparoscopic surgery for other health procedures, including cryptorchid neuters, liver biopsies, cystotomies and gastroplexies. For all these procedures, laparoscopic surgery significantly shortens the recovery period and reduces the risk for potential complications. If laparoscopic surgery is available as an option, our veterinary care team strongly recommends that pet owners opt for this surgery over more invasive procedures.

#5: What should I expect before and after laparoscopic pet surgery?

Like any surgical procedure, our veterinary care team takes laparoscopic surgery very seriously. Prior to the operation, we will perform diagnostic blood work on your pet to identify any underlying health problems that might impact your pet’s ability to safely receive anesthesia. We recommend withholding food 12-hours in advance of the operation to reduce the risk for possible health complications. During the procedure, we will closely monitor your pet’s vital signs. Following the surgery, we send your pet home with pain management medication and detailed post-op recovery instructions.

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