Key Hole (Laparoscopic) Surgery

We are proud to provide this enhanced service, not only for our registered clients, but to any pet owner wanting to take advantage of this minimally invasive technique. You may be familiar with ‘keyhole’ surgery being used to treat a wide variety of conditions in human medicine. Keyhole surgery is relatively new to Veterinary practice and we are one of only a few Vets in Gloucestershire to offer this technology.

Lap Spay

Our senior Vets have been performing key hole neutering for dogs for the past 2 years and have found that it significantly reduces post-operative pain levels (studies indicate by as much as 65%) as well as resulting in much less scarring. There are many other uses of key hole surgery in animals including:

  • To extract abdominal, undescended testicles: Traditionally, a large, invasive incision had be made, often through the abdominal muscle layers next to the penis in order to access the testicle. This often causes a great deal of post-operative discomfort. Fortunately, with keyhole surgery, locating the testicle is much easier and causes significantly less post-operative pain and discomfort.
  • To perform exploratory laparotomies: a way of examining each abdominal organ to identify and treat any abnormalities
  • Biopsy collection: Keyhole surgery is our preferred method to collect liver, pancreatic, gastrointestinal, lymph node and kidney biopsies
  • Cystotomy: Keyhole surgery can be used to remove bladder stones, avoiding the often large abdominal incisions required to access the bladder.

The advantages of Keyhole surgery include

  • Much smaller incisions, requiring fewer stitches and much reduced scaring
  • Faster recovery time following surgery
  • Potentially reduced infection rates as less of the abdomen is exposed
  • Reduced post-operative pain. In fact, studies have shown that keyhole surgery can reduce the level of pain experienced when neutering female dogs by up to 60% when compared with traditional methods
  • Increased visualisation of all the abdominal contents. The camera is able to see much more of the abdomen than would normally be identified during routine, traditional surgery. In the past, we have identified unexpected abnormalities whilst performing routine neutering procedures, allowing us to diagnose and treat disease earlier

This series of photographs shows the image, as seen by the surgeon. As you can see, we are able to examine all the abdominal contents in great detail.

The following movie shows the same dog, just 2 hours following surgery. The recovery time following key hole surgery is much faster compared with traditional surgical techniques.