Minimally invasive surgery, also known as endoscopic or keyhole surgery improves patient outcomes compared to traditional open surgery.

Some of the main advantages are:

  • Smaller surgical wounds decrease healing time, resulting in faster return to normal activities
  • Decreased pain after surgery results in faster recovery from anaesthesia and earlier discharge from the hospital
  • Magnification makes technical surgeries easier to perform
  • Use of start-of-the-art technologies decrease risk of bleeding and other surgical complications, making surgery safer.
Minimally invasive surgery at the RVC

Veterinary surgeons at the RVC have partnered with specialists in human minimally invasive surgery at the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust Hospital in London, to undergo extensive training at their World-leading Medical Simulation Centre.  A grant from the RVC’s Animal Care Trust has ensured our minimally invasive surgeons have the most up-to-date kit available.

keyhole camera images of laparoscopic gastropexy and ovarian tumour removal

The RVC offers the following minimally invasive surgeries:

  • Exploratory laparoscopy, including biopsies, for the investigation of gastrointestinal disease including liver problems, inflammatory bowel disease and cancers of the gut.
  • Exploratory thoracoscopy, including biopsies, for the investigation of lung diseases, diseases of the chest well and lung cancers.
  • Laparoscopic adrenalectomy, for management of animals with Cushing’s disease and other adrenal gland problems.
  • Laparoscopic neutering including ovariectomy, ovariohysterectomy (for pyometra) and castration of dogs with undescended testes.
    • We are happy to perform this surgery in brachycephalic dogs, at the same time as surgery to correct their airway problems.
  • Laparoscopic splenectomy for removal of diseased spleens.
  • Prophylactic gastropexy to prevent gastric dilatation volvulus, especially seen in large breed dogs.
    • We stitch the stomach to the body wall, using stitches placed entirely using the keyhole approach. We are happy to perform this surgery at the same time as neutering.
  • Thoracoscopic pericardiectomy, removal of the heart sac (pericardium) for the management of dogs with pericardial effusion.
  • Thoracoscopic lung lobectomy for management of lung cancers.
  • Other surgeries as required.

If you wish to discuss referral to our minimally invasive surgery clinic or our laparoscopy courses, please contact Associate Professor Karla Lee (

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