Keyhole surgery

Keyhole surgery

Regan Veterinary Group are proud to be able to offer laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. This cutting edge procedure is performed by two of our highly trained veterinary surgeons.

This minimally invasive surgery is not just about small wounds. Correctly applied, minimally invasive surgery techniques results in safer, visual surgery with lower risks and excellent outcomes. Small wounds are not the ultimate aim, but a benefit – the real aim is safer surgery with better outcomes.

Your pet’s surgery will only be performed by vets who have undertaken extensive additional training, therefore there are limited slots available for this surgery. The team is led by clinical directors Dr Ellen Coker BVSc MRCVS and Dr Emma Hasleton BSc(Hons) BVSc CertAVP(GSAS) PgCertVPS MRPharmS MRCVS, both of whom have many years of experience in the veterinary field.

Is my pet eligible?

In order for your pet to be eligible for keyhole neutering we ask you to ensure the following requirements apply:

  • Is your dog over 7kg?
  • Is it more than three months since their last season?
  • Are you aware of the additional supplement payable for keyhole surgery?

How is laparoscopic neutering different?

  • There will be three small incisions to allow insertion of the camera equipment and surgical equipment.
  • The surgeon sees on a high quality video screen an image of what they are doing. This magnified image gives clear illuminated image of the surgical site.
  • Ovaries only are removed – this is different to traditional neutering where the entire uterus is also removed. There is no difference whatsoever in terms of outcome or post-operative consequences if only the ovaries are removed.
  • A state of the art diathermy machine is used to stop blood flow so there is no reliance on surgical knot tension or worry about sutures slipping.
  • The cost is an additional £150 on top of the normal spay price.

Why is this beneficial to my pet?

  • Your pet will have three small incisions rather than one long one without the need for external stitches.
  • There is a reduced risk of bleeding during surgery.
  • There is a reduced chance of post-operative wound breakdown and infections.
  • There is a quicker recovery – typically three to four days rather than 10 to 14.
  • There is less pain associated with the surgery and the recovery.
  • Magnification allows for excellent visualisation of abdominal organs.
  • Day case so most patients can go home the same day.
  • In larger dogs a Gastropexy can be performed with the camera at the same time as the spay to potentially prevent GDV (Bloat) which is a potentially fatal condition.

Can all vets perform laparoscopic surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery requires additional training and specialised equipment, which is only available in a small number of first opinion veterinary surgeries.

Who will be performing the laparoscopic surgery?

Currently only our two most senior vets and clinical directors are trained to perform these procedures.

Dr Ellen Coker has over 15 years of experience and has led the clinical team at Regan Veterinary Group for a number of years. She is a highly skilled and experienced soft tissue surgeon and performs complex ophthalmic surgical procedures across the group.

Dr Emma Hasleton is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons recognised advanced practitioner in general small animal surgery and has led the clinical team at Regan Veterinary Group for around two years. She gained the RCVS certificate of advanced practice, covering both soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery, in 2017 and performs all the complex soft tissue and orthopaedic surgical procedures across the group.

What possible complications can occur?

  • On rare occasions the keyhole surgery may need to be converted to full exploratory laparotomy if there are any unforeseen circumstance or the surgeon is not happy with the progress of the procedure.
  • The incision sites can become infected.
  • The stitches in the incision sites can come apart.
  • Internal bleeding – 1 in 1000 risk.

It is generally recognised that laparoscopic surgery is at the forefront of veterinary medicine and we are thrilled to be able to offer this to your pet.