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Keyhole Surgery

Keyhole surgery without doubt is the way forward with abdominal surgery. At Harvest have been using this method since 2006 making us possibly the most experienced vets in the whole of Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. This wealth of experience gives us outstanding success and massive reduction in pain to our patients. The results speak for themselves.

Benefits include:

  • Quicker Recovery
  • Less Complications
  • Increased Safety Margins
  • Quicker Return to Full Exercise
  • Reduced Pain

Conventional or Traditional?

Keyhole is less invasive, less painful with a quicker recovery time for your pet. Dogs are usually up and about within thirty minutes of the surgery and clearly feel much comfier. Keyhole spaying is not about the cosmetic result (smaller wounds) but about the dog feeling less pain after the surgery. We can offer keyhole spay for your female dog from 1.5kg.


How can you see what you are doing through such a small hole?

A. A digital video camera attaches to the end of the telescope, displaying images on an 18″ medical display screen. This means all the structures are magnified allowing a really clear view of what is being done. In fact visualisation of internal structures is much better than with a conventional spay. A powerful light is attached to the scope via fibre-optic cable so illumination is superb at the surgical site. See the video, you will never get this field of vision with conventional surgery. I have done many hundreds of spays over 20 + years with conventional and keyhole and can say that keyhole gives better visualisation by far.


What happens if something bleeds during the operation?

Surgery does not rely on ligatures or stitches placed round the blood vessels to stop bleeding. Instead the vessels are heat sealed using high frequency electricity. This means there are no ligatures to loosen or slip. If a vessel does bleed, it is simply grasped again with the sealing forceps and resealed. Any bleeding vessels are much easier to see than in a conventional bitch spay. The excellent visibility achieved with keyhole means it is very easy to examine the cauterised vessels after they have been sealed. This makes keyhole inherently much safer than a conventional spay. There are justified reasons why keyhole surgery in people is routine and has been for many years.


If you are leaving the uterus behind is there an increased risk of pyometra (womb infection)?

No. The technique has been used in the UK for over twelve years and in the states for longer and if all the ovarian tissue is removed, there is no evidence that there is an increased risk of pyometra over conventional spaying. Ovariectomy has been the standard procedure in mainland Europe for many years, including for non keyhole spaying. Pyometra is in fact a hormonal disorder (not a primary infection) that requires intact ovaries.


Is it more expensive than a conventional spay?

We do charge a supplement over an ordinary spay. This goes towards covering the cost of the equipment needed and ongoing costs for equipment renewal (the light bulb in the light source alone is about £800!) Sterilisation of the equipment costs £45 per operation, (this is because it has to be especially sterilised with a gas called ethylene oxide).