While performing a minimally invasive surgical technique, a surgeon is able to effectively repair the damaged area precisely and efficiently, while causing little disruption to the associated tissues. Veterinary surgeons primarily perform endo-surgical techniques (including laparoscopy, thoracoscopy and arthroscopy) and closed reduction procedures for fracture or luxation treatment.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques

Stemming from the effectiveness in human surgeries, veterinarians adopted this form of treatment for a variety of benefits, including:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Decreased patient morbidity
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Lower complication rates
  • Improved functional outcomes
  • Decreased anesthesia and operative time
  • Shorter hospital stays


Endoscopy is defined as “to look inside.” There are many advantages of endo-surgery. Many clients prefer endoscopy to more invasive surgeries because it causes less tissue trauma and stress both pre- and post-operatively. Not only do patients experience less postoperative pain and recover more quickly, but endoscopy typically results in shorter hospitalization times and decreased financial commitment by the owners. Further, there are fewer postoperative complications such as wound infections, dehiscence, bleeding and seroma formation as compared to traditional surgery.

Many surgeons believe that the visualization is even better with endo-surgical techniques than with traditional standard open conditions. While performing endo-surgery, veterinarians use advanced equipment that provides enhanced illumination and magnification to accurately see abdominal and thoracic cavities and joint spaces.

Most patients, especially those who are at high risk for open surgical procedures, are candidates for endoscopy. The potential use of these techniques is unlimited and the applications continue to grow.

If you believe that your pet would benefit from an endoscopic procedure, make sure that your veterinarian is specialized in this method of treatment. Minimally invasive surgery requires specialized equipment and instrumentation. For the surgeon to be efficient at these procedures, considerable technical training is necessary. The surgeon is dependent on endoscopic images.


Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive technique performed in organs located in the abdomen and pelvis, including the liver, pancreas, kidneys, spleen, lymph nodes and intestines.


Thoracoscopy is the minimally invasive procedure used to explore the chest cavity. More specifically, veterinarians leverage it to diagnose and treat lung diseases.


Veterinarians perform arthroscopic procedures to treat joints and tissues. Joints commonly scoped in canines include the shoulder, elbow, hip, stifle and tarsus. The carpus can also be successfully scoped in large dogs but is more difficult.

Closed Reduction Procedures

To diagnose and treat fractures and joint displacement, veterinarians may opt to perform a closed reduction therapy. One of the most common types is a fluoroscopically-guided surgical procedure. The benefits are similar to those of endoscopy and are associated with decreased neurovascular injury and a faster, easier healing process.

Fluoroscopy is an interventional radiology treatment. During the procedure, an X-ray image is projected to show the distressed body part in detail. A surgeon can manage different bone fractures and angular limb deformities using fleuroscopic guidance.

Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques at CARE

At CARE, our veterinarians and staff treat each case and patient based on their unique needs. Our board-certified specialists will evaluate each patient to determine if s/he is a candidate for a minimally invasive surgical technique. We work with your family veterinarian to develop the best course of treatment and will continue to treat your pet through recovery. If you believe your pet is a candidate, please ask your family veterinarian for a referral or call us at 704-457-2300.

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