What is Laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is a minimal Invasive technique for performing abdominal surgery. A small camera is introduced into the abdomen. The camera magnifies the internal organs and structures, allowing the image to be displayed on a TV monitor. Additional small incisions are made to facilitate the insertion and use of surgical instruments to allow surgery to be performed.
Traditional dog spays usually require a minimum of a 6-7 cm surgical incision through the abdominal wall, through which the ovaries and uterus are removed. This requires significant tension to be applied, which causes pain and potentially bleeding. Patients need 10 days roughly of rest after surgery, and most require pain relief for several days.
Laparoscopic spays are performed through 2-3 very small surgical incisions (usually 6-10 length). The procedure is performed with magnified views of the organs allowing for greater precision. Using specialised surgical equipment, the ovaries are carefully cauterised and removed, resulting in less trauma and less discomfort for the patient.
Advantages of Laparoscopic spays:
- Clear, bright, magnified images allow the procedure to be performed with greater precision
- Reduced risk of bleeding, infection and wound healing complications
- Smaller incisions and reduced trauma to tissues. Usually, no stitches are needed
- Excellent visualisation of the abdominal cavity (very limited through a traditional spay wound)
- Less post-operative pain than a traditional spay
- Faster recovery of your pet, many patients being back to their normal selves the following day
1. As the Uterus is not removed, does this make my dog more likely to develop pyometra later in life?
Pyometra is entirely hormonal driven. If the source of the hormones has been removed (the ovaries) there should be no risk of pyometra.
2. Are there any increased risks associated with laparoscopic spays?
Due to the minimal invasive nature of the surgery, and the clear magnification obtained, the risks tend to be less than of a traditional spay. As with humans undergoing laparoscopic surgery, we do ask that we are given permission to convert to a traditional approach in the unlikely event of unforeseen circumstances or rare complications
3. Does a laparoscopic spay cost more than a traditional spay?
The specialised surgical equipment required to perform laparoscopic spays, together with the extra training that a surgeon has to take, does result in a higher cost than a traditional spay. However, the extra costs involved are far outweighed by the numerous advantages offered by this procedure.
4. How does the recovery time compare to that of a traditional spay?
Patients spayed by traditional open surgery require strict rest for 10-14 days. Patients spayed laparoscopically typically only need 2-3 days, with may of them wanting to play around as normal the same evening.