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Senior vet Stephanie Duncan performing a laparoscopic operation with registered veterinary nurse, Amy Lownie, who is monitoring the anaesthetic.

Senior vet Stephanie Duncan performing a laparoscopic operation with registered veterinary nurse, Amy Lownie, who is monitoring the anaesthetic.

Pets In North East Scotland Benefit From Latest Keyhole Surgery Technology Following Vet Group's Major Investment

7 months ago

20th November, 2023 15h11

Thrums Vets

Three years after becoming one of Scotland’s first veterinary practices to offer laparoscopic surgery, commonly known as keyhole surgery, Thrums Vets has now significantly increased the range of operations it can perform following a major investment in new technology. 

Scotland’s largest independent veterinary group, which has four practices in Angus and Perthshire, has already completed more than 500 laparoscopic surgeries since 2020. The practice now regularly performs keyhole procedures on pets from as far away the west coast of Scotland and beyond.

These commonly include spays, where female cats and dogs are neutered by removing their ovaries to prevent unexpected pregnancies, as well as biopsies and other surgical procedures.

In laparoscopic surgery, small instruments and a camera are inserted into the patient via a small incision in the skin, and the procedure is performed remotely, which requires very small entry wounds and means there is minimal trauma to internal organs.

After investing more than £30,000 in the latest state of the art medical equipment in its Kirriemuir practice, Thrums can now perform keyhole surgeries on almost every area of a pet’s body. Procedures now include liver and pancreatic biopsies through to laparotomies and laparoscopic assisted bladder surgeries.

Gavin Durston, a director from Thrums, said: “Although laparoscopic surgery is now commonplace in human medicine, offering it to pets is a relatively recent concept. Ultimately, it’s far less painful and invasive, as well as causing less bleeding, trauma and fewer complications than traditional surgeries and we think all pets deserve this higher level of care, so it’s been an important area for us to invest in in recent years. 

“After successfully completing more than 500 procedures to date, we’ve become very experienced in this cutting-edge area of veterinary medicine and now 90% of the spays we carry out are laparoscopic. Plus, in most cases, a laparoscopic spay will only cost around £150 more than a traditional operation and most pets go home the same day and recover within 48 hours, compared to 10 to 14 days for a traditional spay. Usually, they don’t even require pain relief after the day of the operation. 

“This technology has been a genuine gamechanger for both our clients and their pets, and we’ve been amazed to see people regularly driving for hours from other parts of Scotland to take advantage of it. 

“Substantially increasing the range of laparoscopic procedures we offer, is now an exciting prospect. We’ve invested heavily in the latest equipment and training for our team, and ultimately this will benefit even more pets across Angus, Perthshire and beyond.”

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