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Keyhole surgery


What are the benefits of keyhole surgery?

Smaller wounds, faster recovery, reduced post operative pain, reduced risk of infection and less scarring.

As many of you are aware and some of you may have experienced, keyhole or endoscopic surgery is becoming increasingly popular in human medicine. This trend is now finding its way into veterinary medicine and Abbey House has for some time had an extensive range of surgical equipment from the German endoscopy company Karl Storz that supply widely to the human field. This allows us to perform keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery for some routine surgical procedures, including the bitch spay. Our veterinary surgeons have received training from the clinicians at the University of Liverpool as well as some of the best European endoscopic surgeons meeting in Paris.


What does the procedure involve?


Following administration of an anaesthetic, the dogs abdomen will be clipped and cleaned to ensure sterility throughout the procedure. A small incision is made close to the umbilicus and a special needle inserted. The abdomen is inflated with medical gas and two incisions are made through which a camera and surgical instruments are inserted. The ovaries are then grasped, the blood vessels ligated and ovaries removed through one of the incisions made previously. The incisions are then closed using only one or two sutures. Once your pet has been transferred from theatre to our recovery suite, you will receive a phone call from a member of our dedicated nursing team who will be able to offer you a full progress report. On collection, one of our qualified nurses will discharge your pet. You will be given written and verbal post operative care instructions and should you have any concerns our nursing team will be happy to answer any queries. Following surgery an appointment will be made for post operative examination of your pet and suture removal. This check will be carried out by one of our qualified practice nurses and is an essential part of your pet’s recovery program. An appointment will be arranged by our reception team and is free of charge.


Pre operative instructions


On the evening prior to surgery, food should be withheld from 7pm. Water may be offered until the time your pet is brought to the surgery. All visits to the garden for toileting should be supervised to avoid scavenging. Prior to surgery your pet will receive a full physical examination by a veterinary surgeon, however we cannot be certain that your pet is internally healthy and therefore we advise that you consider a blood test to help rule out many internal medical conditions that could cause serious complications.  We have the latest laboratory equipment allowing us to run these tests in minutes PRIOR to general anaesthesia. Please discuss this with the veterinary surgeon on admission of your pet.


Post operative instructions


Following anaesthesia, most pets will be sleepy. This drowsiness will last for 24 hours at the most. Keeping your pet warm will help them recover more quickly. It is important to prevent your pet from hurting themselves at this time e.g. by falling down stairs whilst they are still wobbly on their legs. Because of this we advise only supervised visits to the garden for toileting for the first 24 hours.


Feeding – On arrival home you should offer water and a light meal (feeding about a third of your pets normal diet or a small amount of chicken is appropriate but we can supply you with a recovery pack that is designed for animals recovering from surgery). You may find that your pet is not interested in food initially and if so don’t worry. However, if your pet is not eating the following day please contact the surgery.


Exercise – As mentioned, it is important that for the first 24 hours following surgery that your pets exercise is restricted to the garden. Although smaller incisions are made and recovery time is quicker, it is still important that exercise is restricted (short lead walks only) for a further nine days post surgery to allow optimal healing.


Wounds – When endoscopic surgery is carried out, the incisions made are much smaller than those of conventional spay procedures but it remains important that your pet’s wounds and stitches are not interfered with by either them or any human! In order to prevent trauma to the wound, we may recommend an Elizabethan collar (lamp shade arrangement) is worn during the healing process.


Medication – Prior to surgery your pet will be given a strong painkiller, this will last for 24 hours. In the majority of cases this form of analgesia is sufficient and further medication is not required. However, if you should have any concerns please contact the surgery.


Please be aware that not all patients are suitable for this laparoscopic surgery. If you are considering keyhole spay for your pet please make an appointment with a veterinary surgeon who will determine if your pet is an appropriate candidate for this surgical technique. Keyhole spays are only performed at the Morley hospital. If your pet is a patient at one of our branch clinics we may be able to arrange transportation via our animal ambulance, dependant on the size of your pet.    

For more information or to book your appointment with the veterinary surgeon please contact our Morley reception on 0113 2525818 



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