Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopy is available for select patients.  The most common use of laparoscopy is thoracoscopy in evaluating pulmonary abscesses and tumors, and obtaining lung biopsies.

Laparoscopy Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery has grown substantially in equine surgery over the last thirty years with laparoscopy being one of the most recently developed techniques. The field of equine laparoscopy has grown rapidly and is now used as a routine approach for procedures such as removal of cryptorchid testicles in colts and removal of abnormal ovaries in mares with conditions such as ovarian tumors. Both procedures tend to yield excellent post-operative results with minimal post-operative pain and a rapid return to athletic function. Laparoscopic techniques substantially improve procedures associated with a high risk for catastrophic complications when done via open approaches. Laparoscopy can also be used to resolve problems that were previously not treatable due to lack of surgical access (eg: closure of small colon mesenteric rents and closure of the internal inguinal ring without castration in breeding stallions).

Typically, laparoscopy involves insertion of a 10 mm laparoscope into the abdomen of the horse to allow viewing of the majority of the organs in the abdomen. How much of a view depends on the surgical approach taken. Laparoscopy can be used both under general anesthesia and in the standing horse. As a result of small incision size and minimal tissue trauma, laparoscopy is associated with decreased duration and severity of post-operative pain and decreased incidence of post-operative incisional complications. The exact location of the incision in the abdomen varies with the purpose of the surgery.

At Equine Specialty Hospital we currently offer laparoscopy for cryptorchid testicles and uteropexy. Uteropexy is a relatively newer technique for lifting the uterus back to a more normal anatomical position above the level of the pelvis in mares that have had multiple foals and have difficulty with normal uterine clearance and urine pooling secondary to a uterus positioned below the level of the pelvis.