Laparoscopic Surgery

Minster vets are very proud to be able to offer laparoscopic ‘keyhole’ surgery for your pets.

Laparoscopic surgery is the preferred technique in human medicine because it is minimally invasive and results in smaller wounds. It is performed through very small incisions in the skin, using a camera and long surgical instruments. It is reported to be 60% less painful than traditional surgery, and there is a lower risk of post-operative wound breakdown or infection. Your pet will recover from their surgery and resume normal activity levels sooner than would otherwise be expected with traditional surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is extremely useful for working dogs, large dogs and energetic dogs who are difficult to keep rested. Only certain abdominal surgeries can be carried out laparoscopically:

  • Bitch spays in dogs over 8kg+
  • Cryptorchid castrate (when the testicle is retained in the abdomen)
  • Prophylactic gastropexy in giant breed dog
  • Liver biopsies

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about any of the procedures above.

What happens in a laparoscopic bitch spay?

A traditional spay involves an ovariohysterectomy (OVH) whereby both the ovaries and the uterus are removed. When we neuter female dogs laparoscopically we perform an ovariectomy (OVE), meaning that we only remove the ovaries. The laparoscopic OVE is performed through three very small incisions (0.5-2cm) and there is minimal tissue trauma so it is less painful for your pet. Because the wounds are so much smaller, wound complications, such as infection or wound break-down, are much less likely.

What are the advantages of a laparoscopic spay over a traditional bitch spay?

  • It is reported to be 60% less painful for your pet.
  • The post-op recovery time is much faster, often only 3-5 days rather than 7-10 days.
  • In most cases, you do not have to keep your pet rested for longer than 3-5 days.
  • There is minimal tissue damage during the procedure.
  • The surgeon can often achieve better visualisation of the abdomen during surgery.
  • The risk of post-op wound complications (infection, breakdown) are greatly reduced.

Is your pet a suitable candidate for a laparoscopic bitch spay?

Because of the technique and the size of the instruments, we are only able to perform a laparoscopic bitch spay if your pet fulfills the following criteria:

  • They weigh between 10-40kg.
  • They are under 6 years old.
  • They are not markedly overweight (fat in the abdomen can obscure vision).
  • They do not have a previous history of uterine disease for example pyometra (infection of the uterus) or cancer.

If you would like to find out more, or book your pet in for a laparoscopic bitch spay, please call us on 01904 643997.