What is Laparoscopic or ‘keyhole’ surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is also known as keyhole surgery, endoscopic surgery or video surgery. It involves creating “ports” (which tend to be around 5mm), to introduce a camera and to fit other instruments like graspers and electrocautery. This approach can be achieved with one single port, but most commonly with 2 or 3 ports.
Keyhole surgery has been routinely used in human surgeries for the last couple of decades and we’re proud to offer this advanced procedure to our patients here at The Vet Lounge.
The difference between a Traditional Spey and Laparoscopic Spey
|Size of the incision between 6-15cm long||Size of the incision less than 1cm|
|Higher risk of post operative complications due to larger incision||Less risk of post operative complications due to smaller incisions|
|Organs pulled to the exterior of the body||Procedure performed inside the body|
|Ovaries and uterus are removed||Only the ovaries are removed|
|Higher pain, so more anaesthetic drug is required||Less pain, so less anaesthetic drug is required|
|Higher level of post operative pain||Less post operative pain|
|Poor visibility for the surgeon||Able to see more clearly, therefore the surgeon can be more precise|
|More stitches||Very small amount of stitches|
|Recovery average 10-14 days||Recovery average 5 days|
Where is it available & on what days?
Keyhole surgery is available at only a small number of veterinary practices throughout Australia and The Vet Lounge is the first practice to offer laparoscopic surgery on the Gold Coast. Laparoscopic procedures are performed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at Coomera.
When can my dog go back to normal activities?
Your pet will return to their normal level of exercise sooner. Normally, patients must rest for 10-14 days, but after laparoscopic surgery, only 5 days rest is required (on average). Your pet will be feeling a lot more comfortable throughout the recovery time too.
Can I choose laparoscopic surgery for my male dog?
Laparoscopic surgery is an excellent choice for male dogs that have retained / undescended testicles, however we recommend a standard castration procedure for the majority of our male canine patients who do not have retained testicles.
What other procedures can be performed laparoscopically?
Gastropexy is a procedure where the stomach is fixed to the wall of the abdomen. This can help prevent an often fatal twisting of the stomach known as ‘Gastric Dilation-Volvulus’ (GDV). GDV is seen especially in large and deep-chested dogs. A Gastropexy can be performed at the same time as the spey, or by itself.
Is the cost higher for laparoscopic surgery?
The skill of the surgeons performing the procedure require a high degree of training and experience. This method also requires specialised equipment (which is costly), so it does attract a higher fee. We believe the benefits to the patient far outweigh the extra cost, and why we invested in this equipment.
Are there any complications?
In rare cases, bleeding or larger than expected abnormalities require us to convert a Laparoscopic Spey to a Traditional Spey. There is no disadvantage or consequence in trying to perform a surgery laparoscopically first however, and these complications are rare.
What are the health risks to my pet if the uterus is not removed?
Simple removal of the ovaries is less traumatic than combined removal of the ovaries and uterus. Disease of the uterus (including infection like Pyometra and cancer) are mainly due to oestrogen (female hormone). Oestrogen is produced by the ovaries, so if these are removed, the risk of disease is very small.
Who will perform the procedure?
Our Veterinary Director, Dr Andres Townsend performs all Laparoscopic procedures.
Dr Andres graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science with Honours, in 2011.
In 2021, he went on to obtain a Membership in Small Animal Surgery. Membership is an indication to the profession and the general public of an advanced practitioner, representing a middle-tier of knowledge, competence and experience in a specific area of veterinary practice. For Dr Andres, this area is Surgery.
How do I book in my pet?
Please contact our Coomera practice on (07) 5502 3333. Spaces are limited due to the extensive time it takes to sterilise equipment. We recommend you book early to secure the day you need.