Laparoscopic Biopsy Procedures


Getting an accurate diagnosis is the key to treating disease … 

There are often instances in our pets lives where they become sick or unwell. In many of these cases we are able to get a diagnosis by simple non invasive tests and procedures however some cases require examination or assessment of the internal organs to obtain a diagnosis. In the past we have relied on full open abdominal surgeries to examine or biopsy the internal organs however these procedures can now be performed using keyhole surgery. A surgical telescope can be passed into the abdomen in order to visualise all the internal organs and take small samples as necessary.  There is minimal trauma and pain resulting in extremely fast recoveries compared with open abdominal procedures. This all results in us being able to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your loved one with a minimally invasive procedure – helping them to get back on their feet sooner.

What should I expect?

Keyhole biopsy surgeries are usually performed as a day procedure. After admission to hospital your pet is sedated and prepared for surgery.  Once ready a general anaesthetic is performed and closely monitored throughout the procedure.  Initially a small needle is passed into the abdomen so that it can be inflated with carbon dioxide, allowing better visualisation when performing surgery.  Once the abdomen is inflated several trocars (ports) are passed into the abdominal cavity so that the surgical telescope and instruments can be passed into the abdomen.  All of the internal organs and structures can be visualised through the surgical telescope. Once the abnormal organs are located and identified a small biopsy punch can be used to take samples of the abnormal tissue. Several samples of each area are taken and any bleeding is controlled using electrosurgical instruments.  Once enough samples are collected the laparoscopic trocars are removed and the abdomen deflated.

Our patients are monitored closely during recovery and once they are comfortable and fully awake we arrange a time for them to go home.  Most animals are up and about within hours of a keyhole procedure and in our experience the biggest problem we have is keeping them quiet!

What organs can we biopsy?

Almost all internal tissues can be biopsied. Below is a list of the commonly biopsied tissues:

Liver Stomach Spleen
Pancreas Lymph Nodes Kidneys
Intestines Bladder Tumours

What are the benefits?

Keyhole biopsy procedures have several major benefits over traditional open abdominal procedures.

Small surgical wounds

Keyhole biopsy procedures involve inserting several 5mm trocars into the abdomen.  These incisions are significantly smaller than even the smallest incisions made when performing open abdominal biopsies.

Less pain

Because keyhole surgery results in smaller wounds there is less surgical trauma and less pain experienced during the procedure.  There is also far less pain on internal structures using keyhole techniques.

Faster recoveries

Keyhole biopsy procedures result in smaller wounds and less surgical trauma and pain, therefore patients will recover far more quickly than traditional open abdominal procedures.  For you this means that your pets are home from hospital sooner and back to their normal activities sooner after a keyhole surgery.

More accurate Surgery

Keyhole surgery require the use of a surgical telescope and camera. This means that blood vessels, ligaments and tissue that is not normally seen during a traditional desexing procedure can be seen clearly under the magnification of a surgical telescope.  The result is a more accurate and safer surgery for every patient.

Minimally Invasive diagnosis

By performing keyhole biopsy procedures we are able to get a definitive diagnosis without the surgical trauma and pain associated with open abdominal procedures.  This means we are able to manage and treat diseases appropriately without the guess work involved when no diagnosis is made and without making a difficult decision regarding invasive procedures.

Are there any limitations?

Almost all animals requiring biopsies are good candidates for keyhole surgery.  Keyhole surgery in obese animals or very small animals (<5kg) can be technically more difficult however still has benefits over traditional open surgical techniques.  If you would like more information about the suitability of your pet for a keyhole biopsy procedure then please contact us for more information.

Surgical Videos

This is not for everyone but if you are ok with graphical surgical images then please feel free to browse our keyhole surgery videos below.