Keyhole Spay & Surgery

Just as keyhole surgery has advantages in humans, the same opportunity now exists for our pets. Keyhole surgery is minimally invasive surgery involving passing a camera and specialised instruments through tiny incisions in the body wall. We are proud to be one of only a few vets in the Canterbury and Thanet area to be able to provide this innovative service.

What are the benefits of keyhole?

  • Less painful after surgery, studies show that pain is reduced by 60%
  • Smaller incisions or around 1cm compared to up to 15cm for a traditional spay
  • Much faster recovery time, normal activity can be resumed after just 3 days
  • No external stitches to chew (so no cone of shame!)
  • Faster healing times
  • Greatly reduced chance of post operative complications
  • Clearer view and magnification for the surgeon

How is a keyhole spay performed?

Due to the positioning of the instruments, a large clip area is required on both sides and the abdomen to ensure the area is aseptic. The operation is performed through two small incisions 0.5-1.2cm (compared to 6-15cm for traditional bitch spays).

The camera (laparoscope) is placed through one incision, and slender instruments through the other. The surgeon can then visualise the ovaries on the screen and remove them. We use the same high level Storz equipment which is found in human medicine.

Cautery is used to stop blood flow to the ovary and scissors can then cut the ovarian ligament. The small incisions are then closed with absorbable stitches under the skin, and sealed with tissue glue.

During a keyhole spay both ovaries are removed and studies confirm that leaving a normal healthy uterus behind causes no issues long term.

How long does the operation take?

Surgical time depends on the patient, but is usually around 1 hour. Patients recovery quickly and go home the same day.

When can the procedure take place?

We advise that most bitches are spayed 3-4 months after their first season. For adult bitches we recommend the procedure takes place 3-4 months after a season.

Does my pet require pain relief at home?

Not usually - another advantage of keyhole is that the wounds are so small most animals get a 24 hour injection of pain relief on the day of the surgery, and do not require any pain relief after this.