Following a long tradition of investment in the newest equipment available we have purchased a laparoscopy suite which allows us to perform minimally invasive surgery on small animals.
Laparoscopy (sometimes termed keyhole surgery) is the technique where surgery is performed in the abdomen through very small holes using a special camera and instruments. This allows some procedures which would require large incisions in traditional surgery to be performed with minimal pain and post operative recovery time.
Examples of surgeries which can be performed laparoscopically include;
- Female neutering (“keyhole bitch spay”).
- Recovery of undescended testicles in male dogs.
- Biopsy of internal organs e.g liver, pancreas.
- Exploration of the abdominal cavity for diagnosis.
The equipment that runs the laparoscope also gives us the ability to record video or still images to show to owners and keep in clinical notes for the future.
Laparoscopic neutering of bitches (“keyhole bitch spay”)
This is the technique where, through 2 tiny holes, the ovaries are removed to render the bitch infertile. It is an alternative to the traditional 'spay' where both ovaries and the uterus are removed through a mid-line incision into the abdomen.
The advantages of a keyhole spay are;
- Reduction of intra-operative pain normally associated with stretching or tearing of the ligament that attaches the ovary to the body wall in traditionally spaying.
- Shorter convalescence – 5 days lead walking compared to 10-14days.
- Reduced risk of infection as the abdomen is never 'open'.
The disadvantages of a keyhole spay are;
- Longer anaesthetic times.
- Slightly greater risk of bleeding.
- Risk of needing to convert to open surgery.
- Expensive and delicate equipment is required.
- Increased cost compared to traditional spay.
In addition for some bitches it is not appropriate to even attempt a laparoscopic neuter (keyhole spay) - for example;
- Overweight bitches.
- Bitches with a history of reproductive problems.
- Bitches who weigh less than 5kg.
The ideal bitch for laparoscopic neutering would be slim and fit. She would ideally have had one or no seasons.
If you would like to discuss the suitability of a keyhole bitch spay for your pet, or any other laparoscopy procedure, please contact the surgery.