Minimally Invasive Surgery

At Cascade Veterinary, the wisdom and experience of our surgical specialists is complemented by our state of the art facilities and medical equipment. The collective expertise of our specialists allows Cascade Veterinary to offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic tests and treatment modalities including:


  • Biopsy
  • Tumor excision
  • Prophylactic gastropexy
  • Lap-assisted cystotomy for stone removal

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

  • Esophagoscopy
  • Gastroscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Gastric and esophageal foreign body removal
  • Biopsy

Urogenital Endoscopy

  • Laser ablation of tumors
  • Ectopic ureter diagnosis (urinary incontinence correction)
  • Transurethral cystoscopy
  • Lap assisted cystoscopy
  • Vaginoscopy
  • Prepuceoscopy
  • Urethal stents
Respiratory Endoscopy

  • Rhinoscopy (Nasal tumors, biopsy, laser ablation)
  • Frontal Sinoscopy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Tracheal Stents
  • Nasal Stents


  • Biopsy
  • Tumor excision
  • Pericardial window

Additional Prodedures

  • Otoscopy
  • Transabdominal Nephroscopy and Ureteroscopy
  • Fistuloscopy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Tonsilloscopy
  • Transabdominal Cholecystoscopy and Choledocoscopy
  • Transadbominal Enteroscopy

Get Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedure Details

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive method of exploring joints (particularly elbows, shoulders, and knees) to detect degenerative changes, and to remove abnormal bone or cartilaginous fragments that are causing discomfort. Prior to elbow or shoulder surgery, a CT scan is often recommended to confirm the presence and extent of abnormal bone, joint congruency, and reveal changes in the joint not visible on standard radiographs. The arthroscopy procedure begins with the creation of a single “telescope portal” to allow introduction of the telescopic camera for visual examination of the joint. A second operative portal is made for probing and removal of abnormal bone and cartilage, which is done with hand instruments or a power shaver. Examples of joints that can be explored via arthroscopy include:

  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Radiocarpal joint
  • Hip joint
  • Stifle joint
  • Tibiotarsal joint

Recovery following arthroscopy is much faster than after conventional open surgery as there are only small openings to heal. Ideally, activity should be restricted to leash walks for two weeks following an arthroscopy procedure. A follow-up exam is recommended after two weeks, at which time your pet’s increased activity plan is discussed and the need (or not) for additional rechecks is determined.

Cystoscopy is a minimally invasive method of exploring the bladder. There are two main types: transurethral, which does not require an incision, and lap-assisted, in which a portal incision is made for the operative scope. Transurethral cystoscopy is used to look for congenital abnormalities that may be causing incontinence or persistent bladder infections, or to assess and debulk a bladder tumor. Lap-assisted cystoscopy is more commonly used to remove bladder stones, as they are generally too large to remove through the urethra.

To start a lap-assisted cystoscopy, a telescopic portal incision is made in the abdomen to allow insertion of the telescopic camera. The abdomen is then insufflated with CO2 to increase visibility, allowing the surgeon to look for any abnormalities on the exterior of the bladder. If no abnormalities are seen, a second operative portal incision is made. The apex of the bladder is then grasped with the scope and elevated to the body wall. The portal incision is made larger and a portion of the bladder is exteriorized. Stay sutures are placed to keep the bladder elevated, and a small incision (cystotomy) is made in the bladder wall. Any urine in the bladder is removed, and the bladder is distended with saline. Any visible bladder stones are removed with suction and graspers. If any stones are suspected to be lodged in the urethra, a transurethral cystoscopy may be performed to flush the stones back into the bladder for retrieval. Upon completion, a urinary catheter is placed to aid in urination during post-operative recovery. The cystotomy incision is sutured closed, the bladder is leak tested, and the exposed bladder wall is washed with saline before returning it to the abdomen. The portal incisions are then sutured closed.

A transurethral cystoscopy does not require abdominal incisions. Instead, the telescope is inserted directly into the urethra. The bladder and surrounding structures are assessed for anatomical abnormalities. If any masses are seen, tissue is collected for biopsy, and additional instruments may be used to debulk the mass. After the cystoscopy is complete, a urinary catheter is placed to aid in urination during recovery.

Complications tend to be rare following cystoscopy. The patient should be kept quiet for up to 2 weeks post procedure, and urinations should be monitored for straining or blood in the urine. An antibiotic may be injected directly into the bladder to prevent infection.

Our surgeons recommend a recheck and suture removal (if any are present) at 2 weeks post-op. Additional rechecks are determined as needed.