At the end of last year vet Paul Jennings underwent training on laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, a technique becoming more commonly used in veterinary surgery. Having invested in the necessary equipment Paul is now regularly performing laparoscopic surgeries, namely bitch spays.
The main advantage of laparoscopic surgery is quicker healing and recovery due to the less invasive nature of the procedure with smaller incisions, less tissue handling and therefore hopefully less post-operative pain. As well as laparoscopic spays other procedures that can be carried out using keyhole surgery include cryptorchid castrates (when the testicles have not descended), liver or pancreas biopsies, and investigation of the abdominal cavity and its organs.
If you are interested in a laparoscopic spay for your dog then this can be discussed in more detail with Paul. They are normally performed on his operating days (usually a Monday or Friday) and the procedure is suitable for bitches weighing more than 10kg. As with a routine spay the surgery should be timed 2.5-3 months after the last season and when any signs of false pregnancy have resolved. Unlike a routine spay when both the ovaries and uterus are removed (an ovariohysterectomy) during a laparoscopic spay only the ovaries are removed (on ovariectomy), allowing the procedure to be performed with only 3 small incisions which are closed with dissolvable intradermal sutures.