To report the current state of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in veterinary surgical practice in 2010.
Diplomates and residents of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS).
A survey (38 questions for Diplomates, 23 questions for residents) was sent electronically to 1216 Diplomates and 300 residents. Questions were organized into 5 categories to investigate: (1) caseload and distribution of MIS cases; (2) MIS training; (3) MIS benefits, morbidity, limitations and motivating factors; (4) ACVS role; and (5) demographics of the study population.
Eighty-six percent of small animal (SA) Diplomates, 99% of large animal (LA) Diplomates, and 98% of residents had performed MIS. Median LA caseload (30 cases/year; range, 1-600) was significantly higher than SA caseload (20 cases/year; range, 1-350). Descending order of case distribution was: arthroscopy > laparoscopy > endoscopic upper airway > thoracoscopy. Sixty percent of Diplomates and 98% of residents received MIS training during their residency. Residents' perspective of MIS training proficiency was positively correlated to caseload. Ninety-five percent of all respondents felt postoperative morbidity was less with MIS, and were motivated by patient benefits, maintaining a high standard of care, and personal interests. Fifty-eight percent of Diplomates and 89% of residents felt ACVS should be involved in developing MIS training.
MIS is widely used by ACVS Diplomates and residents in clinical practice; however, important differences exist between SA and LA surgeons and practice types. MIS training in partnership with the ACVS is needed for continued development in veterinary surgery.