Laparoscopy is an exciting new ‘key hole’ surgery technique to allow access to the abdomen and chest cavities without the need for large incisions.
Laparoscopy is can be ideal for:
Cryptorchids (rigs - horses with one or both testicles retained in the abdomen) – the retained testicle is removed using small portals and don’t require a large surgical incision. They can return to work very much quicker than traditional surgery (can be in as little as 10 days time after surgery) and avoid many of the potential complications associated with rig surgery in general (infection, bleeding, swelling etc.).
Colic – In select cases further investigation of abdominal pain can be aided with a laparoscopic exam rather than a large abdominal incision. The benefit of using laparoscopy is that often the problem can be identified and potentially remedied without the cost and recovery time associated with a full routine colic surgery. In a certain type of colic (nephrosplenic entrapment of the large colon) the space in which the colon becomes entrapped can be closed and prevent the colic from ever re-occurring.
Barren Mares – Occasionally in mares (especially older mares) they become inexplicably barren even after previously being successfully bred. If a routine breeding soundness examination is normal then it may be that laparoscopy can hold the key to returning them to pregnancy. The fallopian tubes (connect ovary to uterus) can become blocked with cellular debris that prevents the embryo from entering the uterus and as a result prevents mares from becoming pregnant. There is an excellent treatment option for this problem involving laparoscopic application of a hormone to the tubes that has a very high success rate. Alternatively, in some mares (again often older mares) the ligament that suspends the uterus in the abdomen can become stretched allowing fluid and debris to accumulate preventing pregnancy. In these cases imbricating (shortening) the ligament by a laparoscopic procedure can return them to fertility.
Hernia repair – scrotal hernias and incisional hernias can be amenable to laparoscopic techniques for repair.