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Updated policies - Find out all the information about our updated policies at the bottom of the page.

Keyhole Spaying

Heath Vets are now offering keyhole bitch spays

Laparoscopic Surgery

What is laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is the term given to examination and surgery of the abdomen using a camera (endoscope), rather than making a large incision.

The Advantages of Keyhole Surgery

  • Less pain after the operation
  • Smaller incisions
  • Faster recovery time
  • Faster healing times
  • Fewer post operative complications
  • Minimally invasive
  • Much clearer view for the surgeon
  • Often no stitches in the skin – so usually no need for buster collars

Which types of surgery can be done via keyhole?

  • The most common procedure performed is bitch spays.
  • Biopsies can be taken of the kidney, liver, pancreas and intestines.
  • Retained testicle removal - The keyhole procedure has huge benefits over traditional surgery, which frequently requires larger painful wounds.

Ovariectomy (Laparoscopic spay)

The operation is performed through 2 small incisions (0.3 to 1.2cm depending on the size of the dog) as compared to the larger incision (5-15cm in dogs) required for a traditional bitch spay. One incision is for a tiny camera (called a laparoscope), which displays a magnified image on a monitor, giving a clear view of the abdomen. The other small incision is for long instruments that allow the surgeon to remove the dog’s ovaries.

In a conventional spay, the ligaments which connect the ovaries to the abdomen wall have to be stretched and then cut or torn, which causes significant pain. With the keyhole technique however, these ligaments can simply be cauterised then cut, which greatly reduces the post-operative pain.

Due to the positioning of the instruments used, it is necessary to clip an area of fur on both the sides and underneath the belly, to ensure that the area is sterile. Both of the small incisions are usually closed with glue or hidden stitches, so there is nothing for your dog to chew and usually no need for the ‘cone of shame’ collar.

We know how difficult it is to keep bouncy young dogs rested. A further advantage is that after a keyhole spay we recommend restricting your dog to lead exercise for just 2-3 days, considerably less than the 10 days needed for traditional spays. Most animals are very comfortable after their keyhole spay but to ensure their comfort, we administer appropriate pain-relieving medication during their operation.

As with humans, we do ask for permission to convert the keyhole procedure to an open one in the unlikely case of complications.

Due to the higher level of surgical training and advanced equipment required, the cost of laparoscopic neutering and surgery is higher than the conventional method.

Please ask your vet if you are interested in this procedure, or call our Rhiwbina practice on 02920621511 if you have any other questions.