What is Laparoscopy?

keyhole-surgery-in-actionLaparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for viewing the internal structures of the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgey is sometimes called “key hole surgery” or “minimal invasive surgery”.

A special surgical instrument, known as a laparoscope (camera), is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen. This lights up and magnifies the structures inside the abdomen on a TV screen for a more detailed examination. Additional small cuts are made to aid the use of surgical instruments. The most common application of laparoscopy is biopsy of internal organs. Within the last few years however, laparoscopy has been used a lot more as a less traumatic and less painful alternative to traditional bitch spaying.

Advantages of Laparoscopic Spays over Traditional Surgery

In general, compared with traditional surgery, with laparoscopic surgery there are several advantages:

  • The entire surgery is performed through two tiny holes rather than one large abdominal opening, meaning there is a much smaller scar
  • These small incisions are less painful and speed up recovery
  • There is less surgical stress – post-operative pain may be reduced by up to 65% than a traditional spay
  • Laparoscopy allows for excellent viewing of abdominal organs
  • Controlled incisions stop pain and bruising caused by tearing of tissue associated with traditional spays

Traditional Bitch Spays

In a traditional spay a 2 to 3 inch or larger hole is made in the abdomen through which the ovarian ligament is blindly torn from the abdominal wall. This tearing may cause bruising and pain post-op. Traditional spays cause a lot of tension on the ovaries and uterus which may cause trauma and bleeding.

Laparoscopic Spays

The laparoscopic technique requires only two very small incisions to be made, typically they are just half a centimetre in size. The procedure is performed with magnified views of the organs allowing for greater precision. The ovarian ligament is carefully cauterized then cut, rather than just torn, causing less trauma than traditional spays. Laparoscopic spays are often less painful and recovery is quicker.

For more information about laparoscopy or key hole surgery, have a look here. Contact us to see if a laparoscopic spay procedure is right for your dog.

Share this
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Ian Stroud

Veterinary Surgeon at Vet4life
Ian Stroud is a highly experienced small animal veterinary surgeon with over 15 years working in practice. He has particular interests in several areas including minimally-invasive surgery, orthopaedics and oncology (cancer treatment). He currently practices in Teddington, Shepperton and Surbiton where he is the director of Vet4life.
Ian Stroud

Latest posts by Ian Stroud (see all)

3 Responses to “What is Laparoscopy?”

  1. wendy simpson

    I have a small chihuahua approx 1.2 kilos and 15 months. Would she be too small for a spay using the keyhole method? Also is this procedure any quicker to perform?

    Reply
  2. Jackie

    Can you tell me if doing keyhole spaying there is less chance of a bitch being
    Incontinent after surgery
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Ian Stroud

      Although the published evidence is inconclusive on this matter, I firmly believe from the large numbers of spays we’ve done and the very low sales of incontinence medication, lap spays dramatically reduce post spay incontinence.

      Do you have a bitch you are thinking of having spayed?

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Ian Stroud

  • (will not be published)