Videos of News items featuring minimally invasive surgery

Moon bear is the first in the world to have damaged gallbladder removed using keyhole surgery. An Asiatic black bear (also known as Moon bear) in Vietnam has become the first in the world to have its gallbladder removed using keyhole surgery. The procedure was carried out by leading vet Romain Pizzi who successfully removed the bear’s gallbladder, which was damaged and needed removing, using specialist surgical instruments donated by Surgical Innovations - a Leeds based designer and manufacturer of innovative surgical devices. Although keyhole (or laparoscopic surgery as it is also known) is routine in humans, the standard procedure in animals is still open abdominal surgery.  Open abdominal surgery is 20 years behind human medical advances and has a number of negative factors on animals such as large, painful wounds, post-operative pain, slower recovery and a higher risk of post-operative complications and infections. The bear, called Map-map, is one of nine bears living at the Mekong Delta Bear Sanctuary near Rach Gia in South-west Vietnam, after being rescued by the Vietnamese Forest Protection Department in cooperation with international charity Free the Bears and its local partner Wildlife At Risk.  Asiatic black bears are kept for bile farming in Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia, and their bile, which is collected via repeated needle puncture of the gallbladder, is then used in traditional Asian medicines. Bears that have been previously rescued from bile farms have demonstrated a very high incidence of gallbladder and liver disease related to the practice of ‘milking’ bile, and up to 47% of bears later died of liver and gallbladder tumours, a consequence of the chronic inflammation and infections caused by invasive bile collection techniques.

 Eskimo, an adult male reindeer arrived at Edinburgh Zoo, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, (RZSS) as cryptorchid since birth. He was being bullied by the other reindeer, and his antler development was delayed and slightly abnormal in comparison to the other reindeers. It was feared that the retained abdominal testicle may have developed a Sertoli cell tumour, secreting feminising hormones and suppressing testosterone production by his normal testicle. A laparoscopic cryptorchidectomy was performed. The abnormal testicle was less than 1cm in size and found just inside the internal inguinal ring. An open approach placement of the primary cannula was aided by the use of a "Lonestar" retractor. Reindeer like other ruminants have a very limited operating space for laparoscopic surgery due to the large volume of the rumen. A special flexible 5mm laparoscopic retractor, made by Surgical Innovations, was used to move organs and locate the retained testicle. Recovery was rapid, with the reindeer standing 5 minute after reversal of anaesthesia, and was eating lichen normally within a further 5 minutes - testimony to the minimally invasive nature of laparoscopic surgery, and its advantages of reduced post-operative pain and morbidity. This is the first report of a laparoscopic cryptorchidectomy being performed in a reindeer.