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 in to 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 and less painful and a faster alternative to traditional procedures, such as a spay.1pencil
A L.OVE spay is short for a Laparoscopic OVE (ovariectomy). This is a minimally-invasive spay that removes the ovaries from healthy dogs and has been shown to be a less painful alternative to traditional spays ( NO SPAY HOOK IS EVER USED !!). With this technique, 2 small pencil-sized incisions are made in to the abdomen and our laparoscopic equipment is used to perform the surgery.
In large breeds with very large ovaries, we also have a Covidien SILs port (Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery ). This is a 15 mm soft squishy foam mushroom that we can place all the instruments through. For dogs in between the 5mm and 15mm size, we have 10mm and 12mm ports. This means we will have the right sized laparoscopic port for any sized dog.
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 (which is not removed).
With traditional spays, a 1-4”(25-100mm) 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.
Advantages of Laparoscopy?
Laparoscopic spays have been found to be 65% less pain compared to traditional open spays.
The entire surgery is performed through two tiny incisions (generally 5mm). Smaller incisions are less painful, reduce recovery time, and are less likely to have major post-operative complications.
Magnified view of internal organs allows for precise incisions with none of the tearing or bruising normally associated with traditional spays.
A laparoscopic gastropexy can be performed at the time of the spay or neuter.