Minimally Invasive Surgery: What It Is & When It’s Right for Your Pet

Animals can be just as likely to need surgery as us. This could be for an elective procedure, such as spaying or neutering, to treat an ongoing health problem, or in the case of an emergency. However, where possible, an increasing number of veterinarians are now offering minimally invasive surgery.


What is Minimally Invasive Surgery?


Also known as keyhole surgery, minimally invasive surgery refers to a modern technique in which surgery is performed through multiple small incisions rather than opening up an area of your pet’s body. These incisions will be used as access points. One incision will be for a long, thin tube with a light and camera at the end that feeds back real-time images to a screen in the operating room. The others are access points for the tools that will be used to perform the procedure itself.


What are the Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery for Pets?


It may not surprise you to learn that the benefits associated with minimally invasive surgery are pretty much the same for pets as they are for humans. They include:


  • Smaller incisions are used, which means less risk during the procedure itself

  • Less post-surgical scarring

  • Less post-surgical pain and discomfort, which could prevent your pet from needing pain medications

  • Less blood loss

  • Faster recovery, enabling your pet to get back to feeling themselves and enjoying their usual activities as soon as possible


What Types of Veterinary Surgery can be Performed as a Keyhole Surgery?


Minimally invasive surgery may be right for your pet if they require any of the following procedures:




Spaying/neutering is the most common elective surgery in pets. However, it’s more than simply about preventing unwanted pregnancies and litters of furry babies to take care of. Spaying/neutering has also been proven to have health benefits ranging from the prevention of ovarian, breast, and testicular cancers, to the elimination of uterine infections. Unsurprisingly, spaying is more invasive than neutering since a female pet’s reproductive organs are located inside the abdominal area. Fortunately, today spaying can be done minimally invasively, eliminating the need for open surgery.




If your pet develops an unusual lump, bump or mass inside their body, your vet may recommend that a sample is taken for biopsy. Examining a small part of the lump will enable them to identify what it is and if it is cancerous. Minimally invasive surgery is very valuable for biopsy procedures.


Gastric Dilation and Volvulus Correction


Also known as GVD, this life-saving procedure involves untwisting the stomach, moving it to its normal position, and attaching it to the inside of the body wall so that it can’t twist again. Depending on the severity of this condition, it may be necessary for your vet to remove part of the stomach/spleen too. Fortunately, this can now be done using keyhole surgery.


Some other veterinary procedures that can be performed using keyhole surgery include:


  • Prophylactic gastropexy

  • Gastrointestinal foreign body removal

  • Abdominal exploration

  • Cystotomy

  • Pericardiectomy

  • Lung lobe excision

  • Thoracic cavity exploration

  • Splenectomy



If you would like more information about minimally invasive veterinary surgery, please contact our knowledgeable veterinary team at Van Lue Veterinary Surgical in Oviedo, Florida at (321) 348-6300.

Helpful Links
12345 none 8:00am - 5:00pm 8:00am - 5:00pm 8:00am - 5:00pm 8:00am - 5:00pm 8:00am - 5:00pm Closed Closed veterinarian # # #