Here at Ashfield House Veterinary Hospital we are excited to offer keyhole surgery, otherwise known as laparoscopic surgery. This is a form of minimally invasive surgery. It is considered by many to be the gold standard for neutering female dogs in particular.
Laparoscopic Neutering for Bitches
Why choose Laparoscopic Ovariectomy?
- The recovery post-surgery is much quicker compared to traditional open spay. This is because there is a huge reduction in the amount of pain after the keyhole spaying operation.
- The surgical wounds are much smaller with keyhole surgery: there are two 0.5 to 1 cm incisions made compared to one of up to 20 cm, which helps your dog have a quick recovery
- Your pet will return to their normal level of exercise much sooner! Normally she must rest for 10 days, but after laparoscopic surgery only 2-3 days rest is required on average (you can still take your dog for short walks during this time, but we would advise lead walks only for the 2 days)
- There is a significantly reduced risk of complications due to the better visualisation of organs on a magnified screen
- Bleeding from the surgical site is less due to the surgeon having much better visualisation of the ovaries and using advanced equipment to heat seal the blood vessels.
- Usually no buster collar (aka the cone of shame!) is required due to the small size of the wounds and use of local anaesthetic at these entry points during surgery
What does Laparoscopic Ovariectomy involve?
All aspects of pre-surgical preparation are identical and your pet will only need to be with us for the day. The main difference is the process once your pet is under anaesthetic. Two small wounds are made on the dogs under- belly.
A small amount of CO2 gas is introduced internally through the first wound, to lift the body wall away from the internal organs, creating an internal ‘tent’ effect.
A small camera is then inserted into the patient through the same wound to see the ovaries. Surgical instruments are inserted through the second wound to remove the ovaries. In female dogs, we only remove the ovaries and leave the womb (uterus) inside.
How much is a laparoscopic spay operation?
The supplement for keyhole laparoscopic spay is £244.37 (as on 05.09.2023). This is a supplement charge in addition to the price of a usual spay
Why does the laparoscopic ovariectomy cost more than a traditional spay?
Keyhole surgery requires special training, and the use of highly specialised equipment, including small cameras, video screens and special instruments, some of which can only be used once.
Does keyhole spaying have any downsides?
For keyhole surgery, there is a larger area of fur clipped away, which extends up both sides of the dog. This allows us to pick up the ovaries internally from the outside as they are actually very close to the spine of a dog.
Complications can happen with any surgery, but they are very rare. In the worst case, keyhole surgery is converted to traditional open surgery, with no long-term consequences.
If only the ovaries are removed, what are the health risks to my pet if the uterus is left inside?
Simple removal of the ovaries is less traumatic than combined removal of the ovaries and uterus. Uterine disease in dogs, including infection and cancer, are mainly due to the female hormone, oestrogen.
Oestrogen is produced by the ovaries, so as long as these are removed, the risks of womb diseases are very small.
Can every dog have keyhole surgery for neutering?
For very small dogs, if there is not enough space for our keyhole cameras and instruments, traditional open surgery is safer so this will be discussed with your vet to ensure the most appropriate surgery is undertaken. For older dogs, who may already have early stages of disease in their womb or for dogs with confirmed disease of their womb, traditional open surgery to allow easy removal of their womb is advised.
We would also recommend open surgery in patients that are severely overweight. Cases are assessed on an individual basis and depending on the age, weight and size of your dog we can discuss with you the best form of neutering for your pet.
We are able to perform ovariohysterectomy (ovaries and uterus removal) via laparoscopy in some cases if this is deemed the best option for your pet during surgery.
“Here are a few pics of Marley today, 48 hours post op. The first night she was sleepy but the next day you wouldn’t know she’d had surgery. She doesn’t appear to be in any pain and completely back to her usual bouncy self. Wounds are very small and she’s not been bothered by them so no licking which means no plastic collar. Keyhole surgery was the best option for Marley.
Thank you to all at Ashfield Vets for taking good care of her. Thanks again Jade you did a fantastic job,
“Yesterday we had a walk along the canal and she is playing with her toys, eating all her food and drinking water! She was so much happier having the spay done keyhole as she hates cones of shames and I just feel like she has experienced hardly any discomfort and was so quickly back to her normal bouncy self!
She has resumed zoomies in the garden! Thank you so much for the opportunity for her to have the operation done by key hole surgery as I think the experience has been 10x better for Raisin
Best wishes, Grace Tidmarsh”
“I’m really very pleased with her recovery You all did an amazing job 😊 Thank you Sally Hindson”