VCA All-Care Animal Referral Center

Minimally invasive surgery

Your Pet deserves the Best Care available

What is Minimally Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopy)?

Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive technique for viewing the internal structures of the abdomen. A laparoscope (camera) is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen. The camera magnifies internal structures on a monitor for thorough examination. Additional small incisions are made so surgical instruments can be used to perform the procedure.

A common application of laparoscopy is biopsy. Other procedures include gall bladder removal, prophylactic gastropexy (to help prevent bloat in large chested dogs), exploratory surgeries, cystotomy, and other common surgeries. In recent years, laparoscopy has offered as less traumatic and less painful alternative to traditional spays.

A study published in the 2005 Journal of the Veterinary Medical Association concluded laparoscopic spays caused less surgical stress and up to 65% less postoperative pain than a traditional surgical spay.

What is the Difference?

Traditional Surgery Example- Spays

In a traditional spay a 2” to 3” incision is made in the abdomen through which the ovarian ligament is detached from the abdominal wall and the ovaries are removed through a large incision. This procedure may cause bruising to the abdominal wall and post-operative pain. By performing the procedure laparoscopically the patient experiences less trauma, has a faster recovery time and minimal pain.

Laparoscopic Spays

In a laparoscopic spay the procedure is performed through two or three small incisions (3-5 mm) in the abdomen. With the laparoscope the surgeon is able to see magnified views of the organs, which allows for greater precision. The ovarian ligament is carefully cut/cauterized with a harmonic scapel. The ovaries are removed through the small incision, without excess trauma. Laparoscopic spays provide the patient reduced pain, minimal recovery time and less trauma.

Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery over Traditional Surgery

1.) Smaller incisions are less painful and reduce recovery time.

2.) Controlled cuts minimize pain and bruising caused by tearing tissue.

3.) Involves fewer complications, with minimal bleeding.

4.) Allows for excellent visualization of abdominal organs.

5.) The entire surgery is performed through a few tiny incisions rather than a larger abdominal opening.

6.) In large breed dogs a gastropexy can be performed easily- or if a spay is elected, at the time of surgery.



General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately.

We are conveniently located a few minutes from where the 405 and 55 meet at 18440 Amistad Street in Fountain Valley, CA.

Find out what may constitute a pet emergency or see our emergency services.