Our Hospital has offered a diagnostic exploratory laparoscopic service for a number of years. This has been useful in the investigation of horses with chronic abdominal pain and chronic weight loss. Over the last few years we have used this 'key hole surgery' technique for the removal of intra-abdominal cryptorchid testicles and abnormal ovaries, using our new bipolar diathermy unit.
Our Hospital welcomes patients for such procedures, which give several advantages over more conventional surgical techniques. However it is important that patients should be starved adequately prior to referral to allow satisfactory intra-abdominal access and visualisation. The period of starvation necessary will depend on the procedure to be undertaken and may be determined by consultation with our surgeons prior to referral.
The laparoscopic endoscope may be used to examine the pleural cavity of horses with chronic pleurisy, lung abscessation, or suspected cases of thoracic neoplasia. The technique is complementary to thoracic digital radiography, trans-thoracic ultrasonography and bronchial video-endoscopy.