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Thoracoscopy in the cat : An up-and-coming diagnostic and therapeutic procedure

Radlinsky, MaryAnn
cats, chylothorax, equipment, laparoscopy, learning, lungs, medicine, thoracic cavity, thoracoscopy, veterinarians
Thoracoscopy provides a minimally invasive means of diagnosis and offers many important benefits when compared with open thoracotomy. The expense of the equipment, the steep learning curve required to gain proficiency in thoracoscopic surgery, and the limitations imposed by the feline thoracic cavity, in terms of working and viewing space, are some of the challenges that have limited its uptake to date. However, it is envisaged that it will increase as a technique in feline medicine, in much the same way as laparoscopy has. This article is directed at veterinarians currently performing open thoracic surgery and the associated aftercare who concurrently are adept at endoscopic surgery. The article draws on the small body of literature that is available on thoracoscopy in cats, which includes reports of its use for evaluation and management of undiagnosed pleural effusion, lung lobe torsion, persistent right aortic arch and chylothorax.