Endoscopy is a wonderful diagnostic tool that allows exploration and biopsies of areas without invasive surgery. Given the
option, many clients may prefer endoscopy instead of surgery. What types of cases are suited to endoscopy? How do you prepare
a cat for endoscopy? This lecture will cover those questions and more as we explore the places we can go with endoscopy.
Case studies will be used to highlight certain points.
Types of scopes I use commonly in cats:
• 2.7 mm Multi-purpose endoscope, 18 cm working length
• Gastroscope with 2.5 mm working channel; 8.5 mm shaft diameter; 150 cm working length
• Videoscope with 2.8 mm working channel; 8.5 mm shaft diameter; 140 cm working lengt
• Specialty Fibroscope with 1.2 mm working channel, shaft diameter 2.9 mm; 100 cm working length
• Bronchoscope with 2.2 mm working channel; 5 mm shaft diameter; 580 mm working length
Scopes to start with: Rigid scope, one long flexible GI scope
Areas that can be scoped:
Airways – Trachea, Bronchial tree
Upper GI – Esophagus, Stomach, Duodenum, Upper portion of jejunum
Lower GI - Colon up to Ileocecal colic junction
Vagina, Urethra and Bladder (Female cats)
Given all the different sizes of endoscopes available, almost any opening in the feline patient can be entered. The one exception
is the urethra of the male cat.
Percutaneous approach is also a consideration (kidneys, ureters, bladder, etc.)
Preparation for Endoscopy:
Since most endoscopic procedures require general anesthesia or heavy sedation, a preanesthetic evaluation (blood work, urinalysis)
is recommended. Radiographs of the chest and abdomen may also be indicated depending on the pet's clinical signs. Some radiographic
studies, such as skull radiographs, are better performed under anesthesia. For areas that are very vascular (nasal cavity),
consider performing coagulation tests prior to the procedure.
No barium should be given to the patient within 24 hours of the procedure, AND barium must have cleared the areas of interest.
Barium will cause significant damage to the endoscope and contact between the endoscope and barium must be avoided.
What can be accomplished with endoscopy?
- Close-up visualization of an area of interest in a non-invasive manner
- Biopsy area of interest for histopathology, cytology, and/or cultures
- Evaluation/Removal of foreign object(s)
- Feeding tube placement
- Perform diagnostic tests and therapeutic procedures in any part of the body that can be accessed endoscopically (Interventional
Endoscopy), often performed in conjunction with some other imaging modality (fluoroscopy, ultrasound). Ex: urethral stenting,
balloon dilatation for nasopharyngeal stenosis and esophageal strictures; tracheal stenting, lithotripsy for renal, ureteral
or cystic calculi
Just a word concerning laparoscopy/thoracoscopy:
Laparoscopy can be used in the feline patient for biopsy of the liver, kidney, pancreas, or masses. Other diagnostic applications
include evaluation of abdominal trauma, bile duct patency, response to therapy, or abnormal radiographic findings. Laparoscopic
surgery can also be performed, including hernia repair and OVH. Thoracoscopy may be indicated in cases of pleural effusion,
pericarditis, pericardial effusion, mediastinal disease, abnormal radiographs findings, biopsies and culture.