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Key-hole surgery

What is keyhole surgery, or laparoscopic ovariectomy?

Keyhole surgery, otherwise known as laparoscopic surgery, is a form of minimally invasive surgery and is considered to be the gold standard for neutering female dogs in particular. Laparoscopy is a general term used to describe surgical procedures in the abdominal cavity that are performed through small 0.5-1cm keyhole incisions in the skin and the muscle, allowing cameras and instruments to be placed into the abdomen through (usually 2) ports. We then remove both ovaries, leaving the womb (uterus) inside.


Can every dog have keyhole surgery for neutering?


For very small dogs, if there is not enough space for our keyhole cameras and instruments, traditional open surgery may still be recommended. For older dogs, who may already have early stages of disease in their womb or for dogs with confirmed disease of their womb, traditional open surgery to allow easy removal of their womb is advised.

Why choose Laparoscopic Ovariectomy?

  • There is a reduction in the amount of pain after the keyhole spaying operation.
  • The surgical wounds are much smaller with keyhole surgery: 0.5 to 1 cm compared to 6 to 10 cm which mean your dog is likely to have a speedier recovery.
  • Your pet will return to their normal level of exercise sooner. Normally she must rest for 10-14 days, but after laparoscopic surgery only 2-3 days rest is required on average.
  • There is a significantly reduced risk of complications.
  • Bleeding from the surgical site is less due to the surgeon having much better visualisation of the ovaries and using advanced equipment to seal the vessels.

How much is a laparoscopic spay operation?

Our laparoscopic ovariectomy costs £550.

Why does the laparoscopic ovariectomy cost more than a traditional spay?

Keyhole surgery requires the use of highly specialised equipment, including small cameras, video screens and special instruments, and extensive additional training for our vets.

Does keyhole spaying have any downsides?

For keyhole surgery, we clip a larger area of fur extending up both sides of the dogs. This allows us to pick up the ovaries internally from the outside

Complications can happen with any surgery, but they are very rare. In the worst case, keyhole surgery is converted to traditional open surgery, with no long-term consequences.  

What are the health risks to my pet if the womb, or uterus, is left inside?

Uterine disease in dogs, including infection and cancer, are mainly due to the female hormone, oestrogen, which is produced by the ovaries, so as long as these are both removed, the risks of these diseases are very small. Removal of both ovaries ensures your dog cannot get pregnant.


To book your pet in for a laparoscopic spay or speak to a member of our surgical team please call 0141 634 3183, or email administration@taylorvets.co.uk.