What is a laparoscopic spey? Laparoscopic ovariectomy is an alternative to a routine spey and is carried out by keyhole surgery. For pets, as in humans, keyhole surgery is a minimally invasive alternative to the common open surgeries performed on patients. With this, we only remove the ovaries, using a camera to visualise them and long instruments to operate. This leaves our pets with two little incisions which are glued so there are no sutures to remove. One incision is for the camera, which displayed a magnified view on a monitor allowing a clear picture for the surgeon. The second incision is for instruments which are used to remove the ovaries.
- Reduced post operative pain
- Quicker post operative recovery
- Smaller incisions
- No stitches in the skin – usually no need for a buster collar
- Lower risk of wound breakdown
- Reduced trauma and inflammation
- Rest is usually only required for 2-3 days after the procedure.
- Will my pet be sore after the procedure? In a conventional spay, the ligaments connecting the ovaries to the abdomen have to be stretched, which causes pain. With keyhole spaying these ligaments are cauterised and cut, which is significantly less painful.
- How much hair is clipped? Due to the positioning of the instruments, is it necessary to clip a large area of hair on the sides and the belly. This ensures the area is sterile for surgery.
- How long is the rest period? For a conventional spay pets need to rest for 10-14days, with keyhole procedures the rest time is just 2-3 days so long as the recovery goes as planned.
- Will pain relief be required at home? Most pets are very comfortable after keyhole surgery. We administer pain medication on the day of their operation, but they usually do not require any when they get home.
- Is it safe to leave the uterus behind? Many studies have been performed looking into the risk of leaving the uterus behind. So long as the ovaries are fully removed, there is no benefit to the patient of removing the uterus. In order to develop pyometra, hormones are required, which come from the ovaries. Therefore, without ovaries, it is not possible to develop these conditions. If we see that the uterus looks abnormal during the procedure, we may be able to remove it laparoscopically or may advise converting to open surgery to do so.