COVID-19 update: Client advice on what to do during the Coronavirus crisis

Keyhole Surgery

Advanced technology available at Crown Vets

Crown Vets are very pleased to be able to offer this advanced technology in animals.

Keyhole surgery uses cleverly engineered cameras and instruments to preform operations through tiny incisions and can replace more traditional operations, which require larger wounds.

Keyhole surgery is less painful, produces a quicker recovery with fewer stitches and is generally safer.

The most common use for keyhole surgery is neutering of female dogs, commonly called a "bitch spay" but we can also use the equipment to do other operations in the abdomen, chest and even inside the joints.

Keyhole Bitch Spay

Traditional spays involve an incision through which the uterus and ovaries are removed. This procedure is known as a ovariohysterectomy and requires a large incision to safely identify and visualise all the important structures.

Using the keyhole technique allows all the structures to be visualised through two 5mm incisions, which are so small they very often don't need skin sutures! In this operation only the ovaries are removed (ovariectomy) but both operations have exactly the same benefits.


Arthoscopy is the term we use for keyhole surgery in joints. Dogs and cats are very prone to conditions within joints that require surgical correction. Some of these operations can be done with an 'open' approach but there is a keyhole alternative for most. Common conditions which your vet might diagnose include elbow dysplasia, shoulder problems and hip problems. Keyhole surgery can also be used to help correct knee joint conditions including cruciate ligament damage allowing a quicker recovery.


This is the general term for keyhole surgery in the abdomen. In addition to our bitch spays we can also inspect all the abdominal organs for damage and disease and take biopsies where necessary. Commonly we might take biopsies of the liver, kidneys and pancreas. The techniques can also be used to prevent against gastric torsions in susceptible breeds with a simple and low risk procedure.


Keyhole surgery within the chest is known as thoracoscopy. This is a very advanced technique but does allow for the correction of some major defects without the need for open chest surgery.