What is Laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy, or minimally-invasive surgery, is a way to perform surgery in the abdomen using only two tiny pencil-sized incisions. Using these 2 ports (generally 5mm), a camera is inserted into the abdomen and the internal structures are magnified in HD viewing, allowing for a more thorough examination. The second port allows surgical instruments to enter the abdomen and perform tasks like biopsies. Recent studies have shown the use of laparoscopy to be a much less traumatic, less painful and faster alternative to traditional procedures.
A L.OVE spay is short for a Laparoscopic OVE (ovariectomy). This is a minimally-invasive spay that removes the ovaries (but not the uterus) from healthy dogs and has been shown to be a less painful alternative to traditional spays. With this technique, 2 small pencil-sized incisions are made in to the abdomen and our laparoscopic equipment is used to perform the surgery.
The ovarian ligament is not torn from the body (the main cause of pain in older/traditional spays), but carefully sealed with virtually no bleeding or pain - we insist on using the Covidien Force-Triad Vessel Sealing Device, the gold standard. No tension is placed on the uterus.
With traditional spays, a 1"-5” incision is made in the abdominal wall. The ovaries are then blindly hooked (with a spay hook) and the ovarian ligament is torn from the body wall. This tearing causes pain and bruising. In traditional spays, most vets also unnecessarily remove the uterus. Due to the location of the uterus and the attempt to minimize the surgical incision, significant tension is placed on the body of the uterus which may cause trauma and bleeding. Its not too much fun for the vet or the patient.
Laparoscopy is also a less invasive alternative for a preventative gastropexy. This surgery is the only proven method for preventing Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, or GDV, which is common in large deep chested dogs such as Great Danes, and Boxers (among others).
Current numbers from Police and Military dogs, showed a 25% mortality in dogs not receiving a gastropexy.
This is a rapidly fatal condition where the stomach flips over on itself and strangulates blood flow to the stomach and heart. If not corrected quickly, your pet can die within a few hours. A preventative gastropexy anchors the stomach to the body wall which will prevent the torsion/twist.
Traditionally this stomach tacking required a long incision of at least 8-12 inches. This large extra incision was often a barrier for male patients undergoing a neuter surgery, but with laparoscopic equipment the procedure can be completed quickly and easily. We recommend performing it at the time of the spay or neuter.