Small Animal Thoracoscopy Referrals
What is Thoracoscopy?
Thoracoscopy is the application of minimally invasive surgery within the thorax. This requires very similar equipment to that used for laparoscopy and it therefore confers similar advantages to the patient i.e. patients recover faster and experience less postoperative discomfort than those that have equivalent surgeries performed via traditional “open” approaches.
Many patients with thoracic disease are older dogs and so traditional open approaches are often resisted by their owners due to concerns regarding anticipated postoperative discomfort and morbidity. “Keyhole surgery” often allows us to provide a low morbidity alternative approach which is more readily accepted by many such owners.
Fig. 1: the thickened pericardium has been entered and a suction probe is used to remove any residual pericardial effusion
Examples of procedures that can be performed thoracoscopically include (but are not limited to):
- Lung lobe biopsy
- Lymph node biopsy
- Pleural biopsy
- Mediastinal debridement (e.g. selected cases of Pyothorax)
- Thoracic duct ligation (for idiopathic Chylothorax)
- Assessment/biopsy of neoplasia
- Exploratory Thoracoscopy
We are more than happy to discuss any possible referrals with our referring vets including assessing whether or not MIS approaches are suitable for any cases that you wish to refer. Please do contact us if you have any queries or want to find out more.