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Laparoscopic Spays | FAQs & Advantages of Keyhole Surgery for Pets

A Laparoscopic Spay (Keyhole Spay) is an alternative to the traditional method. It is less invasive and allows faster recovery time.

In a laparoscopic spay, your female dog will have her ovaries removed (ovariectomy) with a camera and vessel sealing device through a keyhole incisions. If your dog were to have a traditional spay, this involves an operation whereby a long incision is made on the midline of the tummy. The uterus and the ovaries are stitched with thread and are removed through this larger hole. The technical name for this operation is ovariohysterectomy.

You may be aware of the many advantages of keyhole surgery for humans, and the same is true for our pets.

What are the advantages of keyhole surgery?

  • Less pain after the operation
  • Smaller incisions
  • Faster healing time
  • Fewer post-operative complications
  • No external sutures – usually no need for a buster collar
  • Rest is usually only required for 2-3 days after the procedure
  • Clearer and safer view for the surgeon
How does keyhole spaying work?

A keyhole spay is performed through 2 small incisions (0.3-1cm depending on the size of the patient) compared to one larger incision (5-15cm). One incision is for the camera, which displayed a magnified view on a monitor allowing a clear picture for the surgeon. The second incision is for instruments which are used to remove the ovaries.

Laparoscopic Spay FAQs:

In a conventional spay, the ligaments connecting the ovaries to the abdomen have to be stretched, which causes pain. With keyhole spaying these ligaments are cauterised and cut, which is significantly less painful.

In a conventional spay, the ligaments connecting the ovaries to the abdomen have to be stretched, which causes pain. With keyhole spaying these ligaments are cauterised and cut, which is significantly less painful.

Both small incisions are closed with dissolvable stitches under the skin, so most pets do not pay attention to the wounds. It is important to ensure they don’t lick, so occasionally a pet will require a body suit or collar to prevent this.

For a conventional spay pets need to rest for 10-14days, with keyhole procedures the rest time is just 2-3 days so long as the recovery goes as planned.

Most pets are very comfortable after keyhole surgery. We administer an injectable pain medication on the day of their operation and will dispense oral pain relief medication for a further 2-3 days.

Many studies have been performed looking into the risk of leaving the uterus behind. So long as the ovaries are fully removed, there is no benefit to the patient of removing the uterus. In order to develop pyometra, hormones are required, which come from the ovaries. Therefore, without ovaries, it is not possible to develop these conditions. If we see that the uterus looks abnormal during the procedure, we may be able to remove it laparoscopically or may advise converting to open surgery to do so.

The effect of both surgeries is the same. Spayed females will not have seasons, cannot become pregnant, and will not develop false pregnancies. Spayed animals cannot develop life-threatening uterine infections (pyometra) or ovarian tumours. In addition, spaying a female dog before her third season has been proven to reduce the risk of developing mammary cancers later in life.

Laparoscopic spays can be performed on bitches from 6 months of age. The ideal time to schedule the procedure is 3 months from their last season. We will schedule a pre operation health check around a week before the procedure. Unfortunately we may need to reschedule if the bitch is showing signs of pseudo (false) pregnancy and has milk. Your dog will be admitted in the morning for a day procedure. Typically our in patients are discharged from 5pm.

Laparoscopic surgery costs more than traditional neutering because it is costly to purchase and maintain the specialist equipment, it takes extra training, experience and a higher level of surgical expertise. The exact variance in cost depends on the size of the dog, however, most owners find the procedure is worth the money. We offer this service at a fixed price for dogs up to 40kg of £780. Dogs over 40kg incur a £50 surcharge.

HeathCare Plan members receive a 10% discount

A £350 non refundable deposit will be taken upon booking.

Talk to us about a Laparoscopic Spay

If you'd like to discuss booking your pet in for a Laparoscopic Spay or have any questions about the procedure, please call 01444 242500
HeathCare Plan Members save 10% on Neutering Procedures
Membership also includes a wide range of benefits and discounts. From vaccines, to health checks and flea and worm treatment, the plan includes everything needed to keep your pet healthy and happy.

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