At Valley Vets, we understand that all owners wish for their pet's treatment to be as painless as possible with a short and comfortable recovery period.
Laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery has become commonplace in human surgery and it is well established that it creates less trauma, less pain and allows for a much faster recovery for the patient. At Valley Vets, we are now proud to be able to offer a laparoscopic surgical service for our patients.
What is a laparoscopic bitch spay?
The surgery involves the use of two small instrument ports. These are about the size of a standard pencil and are placed into the patient's abdomen via two very small incisions. Using these ports we can place a camera and specialist instruments into the patient that allow us to perform full operations without the need for a big incision and lots of stitches.
During the procedure we remove both ovaries. This will mean that your pet will no longer have seasons, cannot become pregnant and it will reduce the risk of other diseases such as uterine infections and mammary cancer.
How is this different from a normal spay?
During a normal or open spay the surgeon needs to create an incision large enough to place their fingers into the patient's abdomen. They then lift the uterus out to allow it to be operated on. The larger incision and the tension created can cause swelling and pain and slow the patients recovery after surgery when compared to a keyhole procedure.
What are the benefits for my pet?
Less pain - The keyhole procedure allows us to operate inside the abdomen using a magnifying camera. This allows us to be delicate with our surgery and avoid the tension and large incisions used during an open technique.
No stitches – In most cases the incisions are so small that they can be closed with internal stitches and a small amount of tissue glue on the skin. No stitches also usually means no “Cone of Shame”
Faster recovery – Most owners report that rather than having to nurse and care for their pet in recovery, they struggle to keep them quiet because their recovery is so quick. Most dogs are back to normal within a few days of surgery. (We still advise a period of 1 week rest …. If possible!)
Do you remove the whole uterus?
No. With a keyhole procedure we only remove the ovaries. In an open spay the uterus is removed as well. In Europe and the USA ovariectomy (only removing the ovaries) has been common practice for more than 35 years with no adverse effects reported.
Will it cost more?
Yes, but not as much as you may think. The equipment and training required to provide this service is very expensive and we must cover these costs. We are confident that the benefits to you and your pet are far outweighed by the additional costs that are involved. We have done everything we can to ensure that this service is an affordable option for our clients.
Who will do the surgery?
Rob Harry is our in-house surgeon and he performs all of the keyhole surgeries. He is a RCVS recognised Advanced Practitioner in Surgery and has been awarded the General Practitioner Certificate in Endoscopy and Endosurgery.
Why don't all vets offer laparoscopic surgery?
Due to the additional training required and cost of the specialised equipment, many small practices cannot yet offer these services. Keyhole surgery in veterinary practice is still many years behind the human field, but in the future it is likely that many more practices will start to offer this service.
What do our clients say?
Mr and Mrs Paramore brought their little Chihuahua for a laparoscopic spay recently. They were concerned because their other dog had an open spay and was extremely uncomfortable after surgery. They planned not to have their new dog spayed because of this.
They reported afterwards “The difference is just incredible. She is running around and happy, you would never know she'd had any surgery. It's just amazing. We are so happy we chose to have the keyhole surgery and would recommend it to anyone wanting to get their dog spayed.”
Do I need to book an appointment?
Yes. As with all surgical procedures your pet will require an anaesthetic and we need a planned appointment. You will be advised about what and when to feed your dog and any preoperative instructions when you book the appointment.
The equipment we use for keyhole surgery is very delicate and takes 12-15 hours to prepare for the next procedure. At the moment we only perform one keyhole surgery per day, so we are often booked up a week or two in advance for these procedures.
You may want to book ahead to get the best appointment that suits you.
For an estimate, or to book an appointment for your pets keyhole spay, please contact our Cardiff Hospital on 029 20529444. Please note that this service is currently only available at our Cardiff Hospital.