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What is it?

AKA keyhole surgery: this is a minimally invasive surgical technique to explore the abdomen using 2-3 small incisions, rather than up to 10cm incisions to allow direct visualisation. The abdomen is inflated using carbon dioxide, and a laparoscope (camera) is introduced to take real-time images, shown on the screen. Other incisions are made to introduce fine instruments in order to perform the required procedure.

What is it used for?

  • Spaying female dogs (see below)

  • Biopsies (sampling) of internal organs

  • Gastropexy to reduce the risk of gastric-dilatation volvulus (GDV) AKA bloat in deep-chested dogs

  • Cryptorchid (retained) testicle removal

  • Some bladder surgery


  • Reduced surgical trauma with less adhesions forming between organs

  • Faster recovery period


Laparoscopic (Lap) spays

What is it?

Keyhole surgery is a form of minimally invasive surgery. It allows us to perform neutering of a female dog (spay) using just 2 small incisions in the abdomen, rather than the traditional laparotomy procedure which involves a 5+cm incision on abdomen. During this procedure, only the ovaries are removed.

Who is it suitable for?

Lap spays are suitable for the majority of female dogs >6kg. Any smaller there may not be enough space for the keyhole camera and instruments and a traditional spay needs to be performed.

It is not suitable for dogs who may have a confirmed or suspected disease of their womb, in which case a traditional spay is required to enable to womb to be visually inspected and removed.

It is not suitable for severely overweight dogs



  • Reduction in the amount of pain as the ligaments suspending the ovaries are visualised with the camera and cut, rather than stretched.

  • Small wounds and therefore a faster recovery (although skin healing still takes 10 days, so exercise must be restricted until then and your dog must not be allowed to lick the wound!)

  • Decreased risk of complications i.e. adhesions post-surgery

  • Decreased risk of bleeding as the vessels are cauterised, rather than tied.

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