Keyhole Surgery

Finding new ways to innovate

At Wood Street Vet Hospital, we have always been keen to find new and better ways of treating our patients, your pets.

Keyhole surgery has a variety of different technical names - laparoscopy in the abdomen (belly)and thoracoscopy in the chest, or arthroscopy when it involves joints - but the basic principle is to use a small sterile telescopic camera to look inside the body and identify problems, obtain samples, or carry out a procedure (like removing the gallbladder or taking piece of liver). Our vets have been using keyhole techniques in pets for more than ten years now- you'd find it tricky to discover any other vets with a similar level of experience in these procedures!

One of the most common operations we carry out is laparascopic ovariectomy- basically a way of neutering (spaying) the female dog taking out the ovaries via two tiny incisions and leaving everything else inside the belly just as it was. We have now carried out hundreds of these procedures and we find that, especially for larger dogs, this is a far less traumatic surgery than the traditional method, so results in less postoperative discomfort as well as a faster return to normal exercise.

There are many other keyhole procedures we regularly perform, from taking out undescended testicles, to taking biopsies of the liver and other organs, and taking samples from other areas within the chest such as lung or growths.

The video below shows us holding an ovary up during a laparoscopic spay, while a special instrument using radiofrequency heats the tissues connecting the ovary to the body, allowing us to then remove the ovary without any bleeding. The other clip is during the removal of part of the pericardial sac in a dog who had developed a pericardial effusion - fluid around the heart- because of a growth.

Keyhole surgery can be a useful technique to make you pet's recovery from various types of surgery shorter and more comfortable. Please call and discuss with your vet (or use the contact form on our home page) if you would like more information, or if you feel that your pet has a condition where these techniques might be useful.