Thoracoscopy

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Thoracoscopy or keyhole thoracic surgery in the dog and cat is a procedure which allows the placement of a rigid endoscope directly into the chest (thorax) to visualise the structures within and to allow samples (biopsies) to be taken of tissues or organs or to allow surgical procedures to be performed.

Thoracoscopy is used to biopsy abnormal areas that have been visualised with either x-rays (radiographs) or ultrasound scans. Typical abnormalities biopsied would include masses of the lungs (tumours and abscesses), mediastinum and lymph nodes. Surgical procedures can also be performed. These include partial pericardectomy, pericardial window, lung lobectomy, thoracic duct ligation. Keyhole surgery provides a huge advantage over conventional surgery. There is no requirement to perform a massively invasive surgical approach which produces a large painful wound. As a result the patient has a quicker surgical procedure and has much less post-operative pain and most importantly has a quicker recovery time, thus reducing the time hospitalised