ABSTRACT: In the bitch, surgical sterilisation can be achieved by a number of different methods. Ovariohysterectomy via a midline coeliotomy is the method traditionally used in the UK. An alternative to ovariohysterectomy, which is being used more widely, is laparoscopic ovariectomy (LapOVE). Laparoscopic surgery involves the introduction of a camera and specialised instruments into the abdomen through small incisions, and is routinely used in human medicine.

The benefits of laparoscopy include a faster return to normal activity and decreased post-operative pain, as well as a lower risk of haemorrhage and other recognised complications. Some complications, such as gas embolism and increased arterial CO2 levels, are specific to laparoscopy.

Laparoscopy requires specialist equipment which carries a high start-up cost; this can deter many practitioners from offering it to their clients. In addition, significant increases in surgical time are documented with LapOVE.

Due to the risk of complications and the specialist equipment required, it is imperative that veterinary nurses have complete and up-to-date knowledge regarding laparoscopic neutering in order to provide the best possible patient care.


Laura Rosewell DipAVN(Small Animal) RVN

Laura began nursing in 2007 and qualified in 2010. Following three years as Clinical Nurse Manager at a busy hospital, Laura is now Deputy Lead Nurse at Lumbry Park Veterinary Specialists in Hampshire. She completed her DipAVN in 2014 and is currently studying for a BSc(Hons) degree at Harper Adams University.

Keywords: neutering; spay; keyhole; minimally invasive surgery; ovariohysterectomy;
ovariectomy; gonadectomy; sterilisation; nursing

To cite this article: Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 31 (02) • February 2016 pp53-58

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