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How it all works

Laparoscopic spays offer many advantages over the conventional spaying procedure. Most importantly it is much less invasive and therefore less painful which makes recovery times much quicker.  Please download our leaflet for more information about the advantages of laparoscopic spaying.

The same laparoscopic instruments and equipment can also be a fantastic tool for use in other surgeries. For example, they enable a surgeon to take biopsies and visualise major organs and tissues within the abdomen by only making tiny incisions. Traditionally an exploratory laparotomy would involve making a much larger incision into the abdomen in order for the surgeon to take biopsies with handheld instruments. They can also be used for lung biopsies and even to remove parts of the lung!

These types of surgeries are usually undertaken with animals that are generally seriously ill and the reduced trauma and pain of a laparoscopic procedure could be invaluable for the outcome of the patient.

A laparoscopic spay at Goddard Veterinary Group

Below is a brief look at our team, hospital and theatre facilities in action performing a laparoscopic spay from admission through to going home at the end of the day.

The day begins with admission to the Goddard Group's flagship hospital in Wanstead

Patients are admitted by one of our highly trained veterinary nurses led by our Senior Client Support Nurse, Helen Cotterell.

You and your pet will be taken through our consent form, double checking that you are familiar with the day's procedure and making sure we are aware of any special requirements or diets your pet might need to make their stay more comfortable.

Your pet will then be admitted to the hospital, receiving a full clinical examination from our surgeon who will then decide upon the best premedication combination which will help your pet relax and will also contain powerful pain relief.

Anaesthesia

After allowing enough time for the pre-med to take effect, your pet will be taken to the Medical Prep area by one of our highly skilled nurses.

She will be carefully injected with an induction anaesthetic, intubated and given a further inhalation anaesthetic with oxygen before being prepared for surgery.

Her anaesthetic will be carefully monitored throughout the procedure using the latest monitoring techniques.

The next step will be transfer to one of our fully equipped surgical suites where the surgeon will be preparing the laparoscopic instruments for the procedure.

This is what our nurses call "The Tower"

It is a collection of machines used in conjunction with the laparoscopic instruments. It consists of:

  • a HD monitor
  • a light source for the camera
  • an Endo-Arthroflator - along with compressed carbon dioxide this allows a magnified view of organs and tissues within the abdomen
  • an electrosurgical unit, sometimes known as diathermy, allows the surgeon to cut and instantly coagulate tissues making this type of surgery markedly safer.

The operation

This is one of our most highly experienced surgeons, Shaun Smith who has a Certificate in Small Animal Surgery and has also undergone additional training as a laparoscopic surgeon. Here he is making the final preparations before starting a lap spay.

Two tiny incisions are made - one for the camera which magnifies the organs, and one for the instruments to be inserted in order to remove the ovaries.  These instruments need great skill and concentration to be used and the monitor screen allows Shaun to see the ovaries, uterus and surrounding tissues with incredible precision.

The diathermy equipment allows Shaun to remove the ovaries with absolutely minimal trauma and bleeding.  Once both ovaries are removed the incisions are stitched up and the patient is carefully recovered from the anaesthetic.

Recovery and monitoring

Your pet will be constantly monitored throughout the recovery period by our excellent nursing team until they are awake and ready for a well-earned snack before going home.

Shaun will then do a recheck in a few days to make sure all is well.