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Minimally Invasive Surgery

Our Minimally Invasive Surgeons

John V. DeBiasio


Rebecca Wolf


Metropolitan Veterinary Associates offers minimally invasive procedures such as arthroscopy, laparoscopic surgery, and endoscopic surgery.  Just as in human medicine, the benefits to minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less trauma during surgery
  • Less blood loss
  • Smaller incisions that result in less scarring and pain
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Quicker recovery times
  • Fewer complications after surgery


MVA’s arthroscopy services provide a level of minimally invasive care that has typically only been available to humans:

Arthroscopy provides excellent magnified visualization of the joint surfaces through a large range of motion, which enhances the ability to diagnose and treat a multitude of intra-articular pathologies. Arthroscopy has become the gold standard for diagnosing and treating intra-articular disease, and we are excited to be offering this service to our small animal patients.

Performed by Dr. Rebecca Wolf, we offer diagnostic and therapeutic arthroscopic procedures for all joints. Arthroscopic procedures may be performed in patients as small as cats and toy breed dogs all the way up to giant breed dogs.

Some of the common conditions that can be diagnosed and treated arthroscopically include:

  • Osteochondrosis (OCD) of the shoulder, elbow, stifle and hock
  • Elbow dysplasia – including medial coronoid fragmentation (FCP), traumatic FCP (jump down syndrome), ununited anconeal process (UAP), OCD, end stage osteoarthritis.
  • Medial shoulder instability (rotator cuff injury), biceps tendon injuries, glenoid fractures, OCD, end stage osteoarthritis
  • Cruciate ligament disease of the stifle for confirmation of suspected early partial tears, debridement of the torn cruciate and meniscal injuries as indicated prior to stabilization using an extracapsular repair or tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), latent meniscal injuries
French Bulldog

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is a specialized method for performing surgery inside the chest or abdominal cavities.  In traditional “open” surgery, the surgeon uses a single large incision to enter into the abdomen or chest. With laparoscopic surgery, one to three small (0.5-1 cm) incisions are created, and specialized instruments and a camera (laparoscope) can be passed through ports in these incisions to perform the surgery inside the body.  Compared to traditional open surgery, patients often experience less pain, a shorter recovery, and less scarring with laparoscopic surgery.

At this time, Dr. John DeBiasio is performing laparoscopic surgery for the following indications:

  • Liver biopsies
  • Gall bladder sampling
  • Peritoneal biopsies
  • Pleural biopsies (e.g. collecting samples for the diagnosis of mesothelioma)

Endoscopic Surgery

Similar to laparoscopy, endoscopy provides a minimally invasive means to evaluate the gastrointestinal tract.  At MVA we have a variety of state-of-the-art flexible digital endoscopes which can provide high definition video of patients of all sizes.   In addition, was now offer narrow band imaging.  This technology allows the enhancement of blood vessels along the GI tract surface.  This makes it easier to identify problems such as masses that might otherwise blend in with the normal lining using traditional imaging.  When masses are identified, especially polyps, endoscopic surgery can often be performed and thus avoid much more invasive traditional surgery.  In fact, the vast majority of our patients undergoing endoscopic surgery can go home the same day.