What is keyhole surgery?
Alder Vets is pleased to be able to offer our clients the option of keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery for routine bitch spays and other procedures where appropriate.
Keyhole spay involves the introduction of a camera and specialised instruments into the abdomen through two or three small incisions. Many of the traditional surgical procedures such as spaying can be now performed laparoscopically. Traditional surgery involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus (ovariohysterectomy) but laparoscopically generally only the ovaries are removed (ovariectomy).
The tissues are visualised under high magnification and blood vessels are cut and sealed using specialist equipment.
It is well established in human surgery that laparoscopic procedures provide quicker healing time and fewer post-operative complications than other methods. This is proven also in modern veterinary medicine.
Benefits of keyhole surgery
The benefits of laparoscopy for our pets are similar and aim for a faster and more comfortable return to normal activity. One typical example is the young, very active bitch that is not likely to accept easily periods of complete rest from exercise post neutering.
After keyhole surgery, dogs will still need to be kept on the lead but the risk of damaging the surgical wounds (because of the small size) is greatly decreased. Please be aware that we do need to shave a little more fur than with a traditional procedure and keyhole surgery is a little more expensive due to the cost of the equipment required and the expertise.
Other procedures such as cryptorchid castration (retained testicle), gastropexy, cystoscopy (bladder examination) and organ biopsies can be performed in this way with an increased level of safety for unwell patients and reduced discomfort.
The advantages of keyhole spaying vs standard spaying:
- dogs have less pain after the procedure
- dogs recover faster and have fewer post-operative complications
- dogs tend to interfere less with their wounds
- it can be combined with a gastropexy in large dogs to prevent gastric dilation and twisting.
When can my dog be neutered?
Females can be neutered from six months of age; for most breeds, we suggest spaying females before they have had their first season. However in some breeds we will advise waiting longer.
If your dog has already started having seasons, we would need to wait three months after a season before she can safely be spayed. We would also consider your dog’s breed, size, overall behaviour and other risk factors so we can provide the most suitable recommendation.
The procedure is carried out under general anaesthesia and pets can usually go home the same day.
Laparoscopic spaying requires specialist equipment and maintenance, as well as extensive training for veterinary surgeons. Therefore, the cost of this procedure is slightly more expensive than a standard spaying procedure.
We are always at the end of the telephone for you and your pet, so please contact us on 01483 536036 if you have any further questions.