Key Hole Surgery
When first introduced in human medicine, keyhole surgery was viewed with skepticism – however by the mid 1990’s it was in common use, with well-established advantages over conventional surgery including reduced pain, reduced complication rates and quicker recovery times. In the USA approximately one million human laparoscopic gall bladder removals are now performed every year. Most of us will have either experienced the benefits of keyhole surgery ourselves, or know someone who has.
The cost of specialist equipment and the need to learn the techniques of keyhole surgery have meant that there has been a delayed uptake of laparoscopy in veterinary practice. However it is now recognised that the same benefits apply to our veterinary patients as to human patients.
Keyhole surgery is most commonly used to perform bitch spays, however the technique has many other uses, including the investigation and biopsy of diseases of the liver, pancreas and intestines. It can also be used in the chest, and in joints. New uses of keyhole surgery are being discovered all the time, limited only by our imagination and the development of appropriate instruments.
Since investing in the facilities in 2013, the vets at Hawthorne Lodge have performed over 300 keyhole bitch spays, with patients ranging from a 2.5kg Yorkshire Terrier to a 75kg Great Dane. We have also carried out a range of non-routine keyhole procedures, including biopsy collection, prophylactic gastropexy and even heart surgery!