Laparoscopic ("Keyhole") procedures at Hawthorn Vets

We have recently invested in the latest equipment for performing laparscopic (keyhole) surgery. Currently, the main use for laparoscopy is for spaying (neutering) bitches. Rather than a larger, midline, incision, laparoscopic spays are performed via two or three smaller incisions. A camera and the laparoscopic instruments are then passed through ports in the incisions and abdominal cavity can be viewed via a monitor.

The advantages of keyhole spays are:

·         A reduction in discomfort post operatively as a result of a minimally invasive procedure and smaller surgical cuts - most dogs are completely normal the following day.

·         Fewer / no sutures.

·         A faster return to normal activity due to a reduction in scar tissue formation and a reduction in post-operative pain.  While we do advise to reduce exercise until the wounds have healed, 20-30 minutes lead walks are acceptable the day after the procedure.

Laparoscopic surgery is available for dogs from 8kgs in weight and above. Dogs less than 8kgs are too small to fit the equipment inside and the resulting incisions are not dissimilar to a normal midline bitch spay. In terms of costs, as with a conventional spay, laparoscopic spays are still heavily discounted compared with a non elective procedure. Laparoscopic spays cost an additional £200 above the price of a conventional spay.

Laparoscopy can also be used for other procedures such as cryptorchid (retained testicle) castration, gastropexy in large breed dogs to prevent gastric torsion (GDV) and to obtain biopsies from abdominal organs, such as the liver, via a minimally invasive route. It’s very useful equipment!

If you are interested in a laparoscopic spay, or would like more information, please contact us at the surgery.