Laparoscopic ovariectomy is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to remove the ovaries in female dogs. An ovariectomy differs from an ovariohysterectomy (spay) in that only the ovaries are removed, leaving the uterus in place. Both surgeries accomplish the same goal of making a dog unable to conceive and eliminating heat cycles. It is safe to only remove the ovaries, as risk of pyometra (severe uterine infection) is 100% eliminated with complete removal of ovaries.
Advantages of Laparoscopic Ovariectomy
- Smaller (~1cm) incisions, less painful
- Shorter recovery time
- Controlled cautery of blood vessels minimizes pain and bruising
- Magnification allows for optimal visualization of abdominal organs
A traditional spay is an open abdominal surgery through one large incision. A ligament, called the ovarian suspensory ligament, is torn to release the ovary so that it can be removed from the abdomen and the blood vessels are “tied off” (ligated). This ligament tearing causes the majority of post-operative pain and leads to bruising within the abdomen.
A laparoscopic ovariectomy is performed using a small, thin camera and surgical instruments inserted into the abdomen through two small port incisions. The ovarian suspensory ligament is carefully cauterized and cut under direct visualization, rather than torn by feel. We utilize a Miseal®, an advanced surgical device, to thermally fuse the ligament and blood vessels.
Please contact us with any questions regarding these procedures – we can provide additional information and help determine if a laparoscopic ovariectomy is best for your dog.