What To Know If Your Cat Requires Laparoscopic (Keyhole) Surgery

In comparison to traditional surgery, laparoscopic surgery for cats is a minimally invasive alternative and typically results in a shorter recovery time. Similar to arthroscopic surgery, your veterinarian will make one or two small openings in the cat’s abdomen and insert both a camera and the surgical tools required to complete the procedure. This allows our veterinarians to visualize the organs and the abdominal cavity through what is called a “keyhole,” perform the operation, and exit the body without creating incisions that are any larger than absolutely necessary.

This type of surgery is typically used for spaying cats or to perform a biopsy of the liver or intestines. Should your veterinarian need to take several samples, laparoscopic surgery is the safest and the least invasive way to collect samples for a diagnosis. Laparoscopic surgery is also used to view the abdominal cavity for any abnormalities. Since it is minimally invasive, cats will typically experience less pain (up to 65% less pain) and a quicker healing time (2-3 days instead of 10-14 days).

Benefits of Laparoscopic Surgery

There are benefits to using laparoscopic surgery whenever it is possible, such as:

  • Smaller incision sites (2-3)
  • Less postoperative pain (up to 65% less in spay procedures)
  • Reduced need for pain medication
  • Quicker recovery time (2-3 days instead of 10-14 days)
  • E-collar use for only 2-3 days, a massive benefit for some pets
  • Better visualization of the entire abdomen
  • Generally less risk of hemorrhage (bleeding)

Types of Surgeries For Which Laparoscopy Is Used

Laparoscopy is commonly used in our veterinary practice for spaying cats and taking ovarian biopsies. Laparoscopy can also be used for other types of biopsies such as:

  • Liver biopsies
  • Spaying of female cats (LOVE Spay - Laparoscopic Ovariectomy)
  • Intestinal biopsies
  • Bladder surgery to remove bladder stones
  • Tumor biopsy
  • Intestinal biopsy
  • Kidney biopsy

Preparing Your Cat for A Laparoscopy

In order to prepare your cat for a laparoscopy, you should follow your veterinarian’s instructions.

  • Fasting your cat the night before is typically recommended
  • Allow your cat to drink water to stay hydrated until the morning of the surgery
  • Arrive on time for the surgery, and be sure to address any questions or concerns you may have

What Happens When The Procedure Is Over?

Typically, your cat will recover from the anesthesia in your veterinarian’s recovery area. You will then be given a set of instructions for your cat’s care and be sent home with your cat to rest and recover.

Caring For Your Cat At Home After Laparoscopic Surgery

Follow the instructions that your veterinarian gives you. Home care instructions will vary depending upon what type of surgery has been performed. Generally, your cat should recover in 12–24 hours after the laparoscopy surgery. If your cat shows any signs of distress, call us immediately at Example Practice Name, and we will give you instructions on how to handle this situation.

Don’t encourage any strenuous activity for a couple of days. Keep your cat quiet, monitor his or her activity, and keep him or her indoors for a few days. Each and every cat is different and is dealing with a different recovery based upon the specific procedure, so we strongly recommend that you follow the personalized instructions our veterinarian provides for your cat.

Talk to One of Our Veterinarians About Cat Laparoscopic Surgery

If you are looking into surgical options for your cat, please call us at Summer Creek Vet and talk to a veterinarian about the benefits of laparoscopic surgery for cats.