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Keyhole Surgery

Find out more about "minimally invasive" keyhole surgery

Keyhole “Minimally Invasive” Surgery


We are proud to be one of the very few clinics in Northern Ireland to offer “Keyhole Surgery”, including “Keyhole Spays” sometimes called “Lap Spays”, and the life-saving Prophylactic Gastropexy.



Watch our video of a fast-forward Keyhole Spay in Progress to understand how it works!

Contact us if you have any questions
  • Keyhole Spay Surgery
  • Prophylactic Gastropexy

Keyhole Spay Surgery

We offer a “One-Port” high-tech, minimally-invasive surgical option for all our clients. We have invested in the latest High Definition equipment imported from America. Our vets have undergone thorough training, and we are now a very experienced team, performing these keyhole procedures regularly for over ten years.

The vets who trained us have done more than 3000 spays this way without any serious complications! There are many different techniques “out there”. We have selected this one based on this vast body of experience – it is exceptionally safe! With only one tiny wound, it offers the very best available option for the procedure. Craig Reilly - BVM&S CertSAM MRCVS

Advantages of Keyhole Spay:

  • Less post-op pain – proven!
  • Really small wound – unimaginably small!
  • Usually, no need to wear the dreaded "Cone of Shame"!
  • Full recovery to lead exercise in as little as ONE DAY!

Your girl will thank you for choosing this option!

We strongly recommend the Keyhole option now for all our routine bitch spays. For years now, our team have been very proud of our traditional bitch spay procedure. We believe that we have provided a very refined version of the traditional spay, with superb pain relief, minimal wound size, and no skin sutures. We are still proud of these ops, and will continue to offer them. But……this keyhole technique is a real advance!

Keyhole spays allow us to perform either a full ovariohysterectomy (removing both ovaries and the entire womb), or just to remove the ovaries themselves (called an ovariectomy) through the tiniest wound imaginable!! The post-op discomfort is just so much less.

The intra-operative time for either traditional or keyhole spay is quite similar. In the larger, or overweight bitch, the keyhole op is likely to be a shorter and safer operation, with the reward of less pain, smaller wounds and rapid return to normal exercise.

Please contact us if you have any questions, or if you would like to book your girl in! We can operate any weekday.

The choice of ovariectomy or full ovariohysterectomy is discussed on a case-by-case basis. We, and more and more forward-thinking vets, are recommending ovariectomy, unless there is uterine pathology already present (eg. in an older bitch). 

Most often, it will be an ovariectomy we will recommend. There have never been any reports of womb tumours arising in bitches who have had early ovariectomy.

We believe “keyhole”, or “minimally invasive”, surgeries are the way of the future: we are proud to be one of the very few clinics in Northern Ireland offering these sorts of operations.

Health Benefits of an Early Spay

Please refer to the chart below for information on breed-related recommendations for selecting the best age to spay your wee girl:

Quick reference chart: Spay and Neuter Timings Dogs/Bitches

No matter which method you choose your wee one will benefit:

  • Dramatically reduce (by 700%) the risk of breast cancer, which remains a big killer of entire bitches
  • Stop unwanted heats/seasons – the inconvenience of three weeks of bleeding and attractiveness to male dogs.
  • Reduce the risk of false pregnancies, a common and distressing condition.
  • Remove the risk of a pyometra – a life-threatening womb infection very common in older or middle-aged entire bitches.
  • Reduce the number of unwanted puppies (Northern Ireland still has far more stray dogs unnecessarily put to sleep than any other region in the UK).
  • Increase the likelihood of obesity – it is important that neutered bitches are fed slightly less (approx. 10%) than entire bitches. They only get fat if you overfeed them!
  • Increase the chances of a urinary leakage problem. This occurs in entire bitches too, and can be managed by drops, tablets, or in very rare, extreme cases, by a surgical procedure. Set against the benefits, most vets believe this risk is an acceptable one. We have all had to put bitches to sleep because of breast cancer. This is especially distressing, as these deaths are so easily preventable.

Prophylactic Gastropexy

Gastropexy prevents gastric torsion

Any owner who has had a dog with a torsion will never forget it. This is a painful, distressing and often fatal problem. We can prevent it now!!

Symptoms of torsion: 

  • Dreadful, drum-tight tummy full of gas
  • Very distressed dog, trying to gulp air
  • Miserable – and life-threatening.

Gastric torsion is a genuine surgical emergency. Every second counts. Sadly, even prompt intervention by a skilled vet and vet nurse team will not save all patients. Prevention is so much better than treatment. Prevention is also a fraction of the cost of treatment.

All "at risk" dogs should have a preventative surgery (called a gastropexy). We think it is best done at the time of neutering or spay. It also saves expense because the one anaesthetic facilitates both procedures. Lives really will be saved!

At Cedarmount, we are very proud to offer this surgery by keyhole. This minimises recovery time and post-op discomfort.

Please talk to us if you have a large breed dog who is at risk. All dogs can have a twist, but some breeds are at far higher risk than others.

Affected breeds we see most commonly in Cedarmount include:

  • Great Danes (lifetime risk of GDV almost 40%!!)
  • Akita
  • Irish Wolfhounds
  • Weimaraners
  • Labradors
  • Retrievers
  • Greyhounds
  • Rottweiler (lifetime risk around 4%)
  • Irish Setters (GDV a MASSIVE problem in the breed)
  • Newfoundlands (huge risk – no figure available)
  • Standard Poodle (big risk – no figure available)

Worldwide there have been many surveys of canine torsion, and many other breeds feature prominently too.

Frankly, any larger breed dog is at risk and there is a good argument to have the op in all these breeds. Contact us or an exact price for your dog, and for an appointment.

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