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Less Pain, Faster Recovery



At Cumming Veterinary Clinic, we are proud of the unique level of training and experience of our veterinary team and even more proud to be one of the few veterinary hospitals in the state of Georgia to offer laparoscopy to our pets. It is estimated that only 2% of veterinarians have been trained to perform this type of procedures. CVC is embracing new technologies in order to deliver the best diagnostic and surgical tools to care for your pets.

Endoscopic surgery or minimally invasive surgery (MIS) uses scopes going through small incision (key-hole) or natural body openings in order to diagnose and treat disease. Using these tiny key-hole incisions (generally 3/16”), a endoscope is inserted in to the abdomen to facilitate exploration and surgery. Recent studies have shown the use of MIS to be less traumatic and less painful alternative to traditional procedures, such as spays (65% less painful).

The goal of using endoscopes for surgery and diagnostic is to reduce the tissue trauma and body's response to the injury of traditional (or open) surgery. The benefits are:

  • •Improved recovery times
  • •Less post-operative pain
  • •Fewer and smaller incisions
  • •Shorter hospital stay
  • •Reduced anesthesia and surgical times
  • •Reduced post-operative complications

Procedures performed at CVC:


Laparoscopy

Examination of the abdominal cavity using a rigid scope. This allows non invasive examination of the abdomen and biopsy collection of organs or masses, if needed. Other laparoscocic assisted procedures are: preventative gastropexy, LOVE spays, castration of retained abdominal testicles (cryptorchidectomy), and urinary bladder stone or polyp removal (cystotomy). As we grow into this technology, we are hoping to be able to offer many more surgical procedures. If in doubt, please ask us.

Retained Testical

Preventative Gastropexy

This is a surgery to prevent gastric dilation volvulus (GDV) which is common in deep chested dogs such as Great Danes, German Shephards, Iris Setters, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Saint Bernards, Weimaraners, Dobermans and Boxers, to name a few. This is a rapidly fatal condition where the stomach flips over on itself and compromises the blood flow. If this is not addressed quickly, your pet can die within a few hours. GDV is more commonly seen in older dogs. Genetics and diet (large meals) have been also implicated. If a parent has had a GDV before, the offsprings are more susceptible to have this disease process as well.

Gastropey Gastropexy

A preventative gastropexy anchors the stomach into the body wall which will prevent flipping of the stomach. By using MIS, a less than 2 inches incision is needed instead of the usual 8-12 inches incision from the traditional open surgery.

LOVE spays

LOVE stands for Laparoscopic OVE (ovariectomy). This is a minimally-invasive spay that removes the ovaries from healthy female dogs. With this technique, two key-hole incisions are needed to spay your dog. The ovarian ligaments are not torn from the body, but carefully cut and cauterized with virtually no bleeding or pain. Therefore, there is less tissue trauma associated to it which means faster recovery and less pain associated to it (65% less pain than traditional spays as shown by studies done).

LOVE Spays Lap Spay

Cystoscopy

This is the examination of the urogenital tract. At this point, we can only evaluate female dogs and female large cats using their urethra. In males, a laparoscopic assisted cystoscopy can be done instead. The abdomen is entered first and from there, bladder and urethra can be evaluated. This provides minimally-invasive examination of the lower urinary tract (vestibule, vagina, urethra, bladder and ureteral entrances into the bladder).

Cystoscopy

Rhinoscopy

This is the examination of the nose and the internal structures of the nose (nasal turbinates, frontal sinuses and nasopharynx). This is usually done as a diagnostic procedure, but foreign bodies can be removed with minimal trauma. This diagnostic tool is used when there are signs of non resolving upper respiratory disease, chronic sneezing or nasal discharge. Direct visualization allows examination of the nose and collection of biopsy samples, if needed.

Rhinoscopy

Otoscopy

This is the examination of the external ear. This can be done to provide direct and improved visualization of the external canal and tympanic membrane, visualization of the milddle ear when ruptured tympanic membrane, foreign body removal, targeted treatment and deep ear cultures.

Otoscopy Otoscopy

GI Endoscopy

Flexible Endoscopy

Flexible endoscopy allows a visual examination of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum and colon. A flexible endoscope consists of of a long, flexible tube with a camera at the end that enters through natural openings allowing examination of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. A channel in the endoscope permits various endoscopic tools to be passed for biopsy and retrieval of foreign objects without the need of surgery. Endoscopy decreases pain, decreases the risk of complications, and speeds recovery. Procedures that could be performed include; Esophagoscopy, gastroscopy, duodenoscopy and colonoscopy.


FAQ

What are the benefits of minimally-invasive veterinary surgery?

The benefits include improved recovery times, less post-operative pain, fewer and smaller incisions, decreased bleeding, shorter hospital stays, reduced anesthesia and surgical times, and reduced chances for complications.

What sort of minimally-invasive procedures and techniques do you have available?

We currently offer minimally-invasive abdominal surgery (laparoscopy), cystoscopy, rhinoscopy, otoscopy, with more to come as we develop further areas of expertise and acquire new state-of-the-art equipment.

Will my pet need a Elizabethan collar (E-collar) after the procedure?

Even if surgery is performed through small incisions, these are still incisions. If your pet licks this small incision, it could still become infected. However, we find that pets generally do better and they may not need to wear the E-collar as long as for traditional surgery. In any case, plan to have your pet wear the E-collar for 3 days in the best scenario and keep them rested for about 7-10 days so that the surgery site can heal.

Will my pet have to stay overnight?

Even if surgery is performed through small incisions, these are still incisions. If your pet licks this small incision, it could still become infected. However, we find that pets generally do better and they may not need to wear the E-collar as long as for traditional surgery. In any case, plan to have your pet wear the E-collar for 3 days in the best scenario and keep them rested for about 7-10 days so that the surgery site can heal.

What is the care after the procedure?

Detail instructions will be provided after the procedure. Although the incisions are much smaller, it is still recommended to keep your pet rested for 10 days for full recovery and decrease chance for complications. If sutures are present, these will be removed in about 10 days at not charge. Most of the time, sutures are under the skin and there is not need for suture removal. In any case, monitor the incision daily for any changes or concerns. In the case of a concern, please call us for instructions.

For LOVE spay, is it dangerous to not remove the uterus?

Although we have been traditionally removing both the uterus and the ovaries in the USA, there is not real benefit in removing the uterus in a healthy young dog. The removal of the ovaries only during spays are routinely done in Europe and there is many scientific published data proving that this is a better approach because of less pain, less complications and a faster surgery. This approach is becoming more popular in the USA and would eventually replace the standard spay. For more information, please check: Van Goethem, B., Schaeffers-Okkens, A., and Kirpensteinjn, J. (2006): Making a rational choice between ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy in the dog: a discussion of the benefits of either technique. Veterinary Surgery, 35, pp. 136-143.

Do you perform laparoscopic spays on cats and other exotic pets?

We do perform laparoscopic spays in cats, however it is limited by weight range and therefore not all cats can have this type of procedure. As we acquire new state-of-the-art equipment, we may be able to extend this type of surgery down to smaller cats and exotic pets.