Why choose a laparoscopic spay at Roncy Village Veterinary Clinic for your dog?
A minimally invasive laparoscopic spay is the gold standard for dogs, and Roncy Village Veterinary Clinic’s veterinarians are among the most experienced in Ontario at performing this specialty surgery. During a laparoscopic spay, a camera and special instruments are inserted into the abdomen through tiny keyhole incisions and used to remove only the ovaries. This results in less trauma and bleeding, less pain, and faster recovery than a traditional spay surgery, which requires a large incision and open abdominal surgery to remove both the ovaries and uterus.
Roncy Village Veterinary Clinic is proud to have been the second veterinary clinic in Toronto to introduce laparoscopic surgery for pets, and our veterinarians have been performing laparoscopic spays for almost 15 years. As a result, we are trusted by referral patients from clinics across the city and beyond.
How is a laparoscopic spay different from a traditional spay surgery?
Spaying your dog is very important in order to reduce the risk of infections and cancer, prevent hormone-related behavioural issues, and reduce the suffering associated with pet overpopulation. A traditional spay surgery requires an abdominal incision 1 to 6 inches long (depending on the size of your pet), and is an open abdominal surgery. Both the ovaries and the uterus are removed (an ovariohysterectomy), which requires stretching and tearing of the soft tissue, which can cause bleeding.
During a laparoscopic spay, two tiny incisions (each only 5 millimeters long) are made in your dog’s abdomen, through which special cameras and instruments are inserted. These are used to remove the ovaries (an ovariectomy), which eliminates production of the hormones that cause uterine infections (pyometras) and cancers without requiring an invasive hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). Throughout the surgery, tissue is cauterized before cutting, which means that blood vessels and nerve endings are sealed so that very few pain sensations are transmitted, and only minimal bleeding will occur. Because the abdominal incisions are so small compared to a traditional spay, they heal very quickly and there is almost no incision pain. Overall, a study in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association concluded that laparoscopic spays are associated with up to 65% less pain than traditional spays.
Please note that due to high demand, we are currently limiting laparoscopic spays to dogs over 5kg, as they derive the greatest benefit from laparoscopic spays. Due to their small body size, traditional spay surgeries are less invasive for cats and small-breed dogs than for larger dogs.
What exactly happens during a laparoscopic spay surgery?
At your dog’s pre-surgery consultation, they will have a full exam with one of our veterinarians to ensure that they are healthy and that there are no contra-indications to either anesthesia or surgery. We will take a small blood sample to assess their internal organ function and ensure that your pet is healthy enough for surgery and can safely go under general anaesthesia.
On the day of surgery, your pet will be anesthetized, and the surgical area will be shaved and sterilized. Once in surgery, their abdomen is gently inflated with carbon dioxide to allow an unobstructed view of the abdominal organs, which can then be manipulated. A small 5-millimeter incision is then made into the abdomen to allow the introduction of the camera that will be used to visualize organs. Following this, a second incision is made, through which the instruments are placed that will be used to perform the procedure.
First, the ovaries are identified, elevated, and suspended next to the abdominal wall. An instrument is then introduced that both cuts and cauterizes tissue. The tissue surrounding the ovary that attaches it to the body is cauterized and cut away, freeing it so that the ovary can then be removed through one of the small incisions. After removing the ovary, the instrument is re-introduced, and the procedure is repeated with the ovary on the opposite side. Once both ovaries are removed, the abdomen is deflated. A single suture is placed to close the body wall and the skin incisions are so small that they are closed with simple tissue glue. The patient is typically up and fully alert within just a couple of hours and is ready to go home that same evening. Unlike the 2 weeks of enforced quiet time to heal after an invasive traditional spay surgery, pets feel good enough to start getting back to some of their normal activities (in moderation of course!) as soon as 3 days after a laparoscopic spay – particularly helpful with active puppies!
Laparoscopic Spay Videos
Our Laparoscopic Spay Video Series shows you every step of your dog’s surgery day, from their pre-surgery exam, to the insertion of their breathing tube, to the actual spay surgery itself (as viewed by our surgeon via the laparoscopic camera). Watch the Laparoscopic Spay Video Series.