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Surgical Procedures

What is a Diplomate?
The term "ACVS Diplomate" refers to a veterinarian who has been board certified in veterinary surgery.

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Laparoscopic Spay in Dogs

The term "ACVS Diplomate" refers to a veterinarian who has been board certified in veterinary surgery. Only veterinarians who have successfully completed the certification requirements of the ACVS are Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and have earned the right to be called specialists in veterinary surgery.

Your ACVS board-certified veterinary surgeon completed a three-year residency program, met specific training and caseload requirements, performed research and had research published. This process was supervised by ACVS Diplomates, ensuring consistency in training and adherence to high standards. After completing the residency program, the individual passed a rigorous examination. Only then did your veterinary surgeon earn the title of ACVS Diplomate.

Overview/Description of the Procedure: 

A laparoscopic spay is one in which a surgeon uses a camera (laparoscope) and long handled instruments placed through small incisions to perform the procedure. This type of surgery is also referred to as “minimally invasive surgery.”  



Conditions Commonly Treated Using Procedure: 

Laparoscopic spay may be performed in reproductively intact patients undergoing elective spay. This procedure is rarely used to treat animals who have an infection of the uterus (pyometra). If the tissue is healthy, an ovariectomy (removal of the ovaries alone) or ovariohysterectomy (removal of uterus and ovaries) may be performed, depending on surgeon recommendation and client preference.


Laparoscopic spay has been associated with decreased pain and faster recovery from surgery. It may also result in fewer complications with the surgical wound such as inflammation or infection. Laparoscopic spay generally results in better visualization of the tissue and abdominal cavity.


Disadvantages of laparoscopic spay compared to traditional surgery include the need for specialized instruments and surgeon training. 

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This Animal Health Topic was written by and reviewed by Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.  Any opinions stated in this article are not necessarily the official position of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

The American College of Veterinary Surgeons recommends contacting an ACVS board-certified veterinary surgeon or your general veterinarian for more information about this topic.

To find an ACVS Diplomate, visit www.acvs.org/find-a-surgeon.