What is endoscopy? Endoscopy is a minimally invasive way to insert a small TV camera into a body cavity or a joint space to diagnose problems. Rigid endoscopes can be inserted into joints, the nose, bladder, chest, or abdominal cavity. Flexible scopes can be inserted into the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, and the airways. All of these procedures are done under general anesthesia.
Arthroscopy: This is the insertion of a small scope into a joint. It is most commonly inserted into the knee, shoulder, or elbow. Some conditions can be treated through the scope, while others require a small incision to assist in making repairs. Cruciate ligaments can be evaluated in questionable cases. Medial compartment disease of the elbow can be evaluated for fragmented medial coronoid disease. Shoulders can be evaluated, and sometimes treated for osteochondrosis dessicans.
Rhinoscopy: Does your cat or dog have a chronic runny or bloody nose? Inserting a scope into the nose can often diagnose a problem with an infection, virus, or foreign body. Sometimes we find tumors and cancer.
Cystoscopy: Does your pet have bladder stones? Some can be removed entirely through the scope while others can be removed with much smaller incisions in the abdomen, a procedure called percutaneous cystoscopy. Pets with blood in their urine sometimes have tumors that can be biopsied through the scope and evaluated for surgical removal.
Laparoscopy: Scopes can be inserted into the abdomen and a limited exploratory performed. Organs can be biopsied, and some surgical procedures can be performed, like ovary sparing surgery, cryptorchid removal, and gastropexy.
Flexible endoscopy is the insertion of a longer scope into the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine to remove foreign bodies, biopsy for vomiting, and evaluation for hiatal hernias. The colon can be viewed for cases of chronic diarrhea. This scope can also be inserted into the larynx and trachea to evaluate dogs with breathing difficulties such as chronic coughing.