There are many reasons for your vet to recommend abdominal surgery and sometimes we need to explore the belly on an emergency basis due to pain, a mass or accumulation of blood. Abdominal ultrasound is available and can help clarify if there is a lump, fluid retention or internal bleeding.
A linear incision is made in the skin and underlying tissues to allow us to open the abdominal cavity and expose the internal organs. The surgeon can then move and examine the liver, stomach, intestines, spleen, kidneys and bladder. Once a problem is found we can then correct it at the same time. The wound is closed by stitching (suturing) the two sides together again. Most cats and dogs recover quickly after this procedure. An epidural injection is given to all patient at the Pet Emergency & Specialist Centre having this procedure.
Laparoscopy involves use of rigid telescopes to explore the belly without opening it. The instruments are placed through small cuts (portals) and the inside of the abdomen is carefully inflated using gas. This allows a quick appreciation of each organ so that we can tell the pet owner if invasive surgery will help or not. Laparoscopy is available at the Pet Emergency & Specialist Centre.