Key Hole Surgery

What is it?

Laparoscopy is the formal medical name for “key-hole-surgery” within the abdomen.

Key-hole (or ‘minimally invasive’) surgery has become commonplace in human surgery with more and more procedures being performed in this manner.



At Donaldson’s Vets we now perform a wide range of investigative and surgical procedures via this method.


Can my dog be neutered using this method?

Yes, in fact routine bitch spays and retained testicles in male dogs are the most common procedures done via this method

While there are still surgical incisions associated with a Laparoscopic operation, these are often only a few millimetres long. This means we see a faster, less painful, and smoother recovery after the procedure and less risk of complications than would be the case with conventional surgery.

For larger breeds it worth considering a “gastropexy” at the same time as the neutering. This attaches the stomach to the body wall, so that if they have a bloat episode, the stomach cannot twist around. If the stomach does twist with bloat this is referred to as a GDV, a life threatening condition that requires immediate life saving surgery.


How is it done?

The principle behind laparoscopy is that a sterile video camera is placed through a small incision inside the abdomen. An inert gas, carbon-dioxide, inflates the abdominal cavity and the resulting video image is played onto a monitor screen in the theatre.

Sterile surgical instruments can then be introduced via similar small incisions (known as ports) into the abdomen and so a wide variety of surgical procedures can be performed.

Through the laparoscope, we can view a magnified view of the organs and often get a clearer view of them than we could with a conventional procedure. If required, we can take biopsy samples from affected organs to send for laboratory confirmation, often being able to confirm a diagnosis within 24 hours.

Because of the less invasive nature of the surgery and smoother recovery, Laparoscopy can be considered in patients that were too sick or elderly to consider a conventional surgical procedure.


Want to know more or book in for neutering?

Phone your local branch for more information, or for a chat about the procedure

Currently we only perform laparoscopic procedures at our main Somerset Road hospital, but we can transfer animals over free of charge if this is easier for you