A reflection on laparoscopic surgery at Eglinton Vet

Dr. Bev and Dr. Natasha had the opportunity last week to speak to a group of dog enthusiasts at the North York Obedience Club about the benefits of laparoscopic surgery. We were very pleased to be invited and were given a very warm welcome. The audience was very brave about some of the surgical videos that we brought, and asked excellent questions about a range of surgical issues.

In preparing for the presentation, we realized that it is now almost 5 years since we brought laparoscopic surgery to EVF. At that time, we became the third practice in Toronto to offer this, but even now there are only a handful of clinics using a laparoscope for surgical procedures.

This program has added many things to the surgical program at EVF, including but not limited to:

-          The ability to perform procedures that may have not been done or may have been very difficult in the past. For example, deep-chested dogs may undergo a preventive procedure called a gastropexy, which may prevent them from experiencing a fatal GDV event (stomach flip). We are also able to scope the ear canals of animals with chronic ear issues and better evaluate what is going on and the best course of treatment.

-          The laparoscope allows the surgeon to better visualize the abdomen and the structures that they are working with, which allows for safer completion of certain surgeries (for example, spays on mature dogs who may be fat, making the surgery more demanding) and for better visualization during procedures where this is of benefit to the doctor (for example, liver biopsies or the removal of bladder stones laparoscopically).

-          The ability to perform some surgical procedures with much less pain for the animal. The best example of this is a laparoscopic spay, during which the whole ovariohysterectomy is performed via a tiny 1.1cm incision. This allows our patients to recover very quickly from surgery. They are often up and about within 1-2 hours after anesthesia and are only restricted from activity after surgery for 2-3 days, likely with no need for an Elizabethan collar. This is much better than the experience that owners and dogs went through in the past!

The things mentioned above are of benefit to our patients and clients. However, the laparoscopic program has also meant a lot to our team. The ability to work with new technology and do something different, especially when that increases the quality of life of our patients brings a sense of pride to the whole practice.

Eglinton Vet operates as any neighbourhood veterinary clinic would have decades ago; that is, we work very hard on customer service and the relationships with our clients and patients. Running in the background is a state-of-the-art 21st century veterinary practice, and the laparoscopic surgery program is one piece of this, combined with computerized records, online access for our patients, digital radiography, a complete in-house laboratory and a therapeutic laser program. We love to see ourselves as the “family vet”, while working on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine.

Please visit our laparoscopic surgery page here or call the clinic for more information.