Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) is a life threatening disorder most commonly seen in large, deep-chested dogs. A GDV is a progression of bloat into a volvulus, in which the huge, gas-filled stomach twists upon itself so that both the entrance and exit of the stomach become occluded. This is a life-threatening emergency that requires surgery to correct. Unfortunately even with emergency surgery not all dogs survive.
Thankfully we are now able to perform a keyhole surgery procedure to prevent the stomach from twisting. The stomach is permanently attached to the abdominal wall in its normal position. This prevents the stomach from twisting on itself and because the stomach still sits in the normal position in the abdomen there are no adverse affects on stomach function or digestion.
What should I expect?
Keyhole desexing surgeries are usually performed as a day procedure. After admission to hospital your pet is sedated and prepared for surgery. Once ready a general anaesthetic is performed and closely monitored throughout the procedure. Initially a small needle is passed into the abdomen so that it can be inflated with carbon dioxide, allowing better visualisation when performing surgery. Once the abdomen is inflated several trocars (ports) are passed into the abdominal cavity so that the surgical telescope and instruments can be passed into the abdomen. The stomach is then located and placed adjacent to the abdominal wall in order to attach it permanently. An incision is made in the outside layer of the stomach and the inside layer of the abdominal wall before suturing the muscle and stomach layers together. The trocars can then be removed and the small incisions sutured closed.
Our patients are monitored closely during recovery and once they are comfortable and fully awake we arrange a time for them to go home. Most animals are up and about within hours of a keyhole procedure and in our experience the biggest problem we have is keeping them quiet!
What are the benefits?
Keyhole gastropexy procedures have several major benefits over traditional open abdominal procedures.
- Small surgical wounds
Keyhole gastropexy procedures involve inserting two 5mm trocars into the abdomen. There is also a 3-5cm incision made where the stomach is permanently attached to the abdominal wall. These incisions are significantly smaller than even the smallest incisions made with open abdominal gastropexy procedures.
- Less pain
Because keyhole surgery results in smaller wounds there is less surgical trauma and less pain experienced during the procedure. There is also far less pain on internal structures using keyhole techniques.
- Faster recoveries
Keyhole gastropexy procedures result in smaller wounds and less surgical trauma and pain, therefore patients will recover far more quickly than traditional open abdominal procedures. For you this means that your pets are home from hospital sooner and back to their normal activities sooner after a keyhole gastropexy.
- More accurate Surgery
Keyhole surgery require the use of a surgical telescope and camera. This means that blood vessels, ligaments and tissue that is not normally seen during a traditional procedure can be seen clearly under the magnification of a surgical telescope. The result is a more accurate and safer surgery for every patient.
Is my dog susceptible to bloat?
It is possible for any dog to develop bloat and a GDV however some breeds are far more susceptible than others. Statistically we know that large deep chested breeds of dog are far more likely to develop a GDV. Below is a list of the most commonly affected breeds:
Great Danes Saint Bernards Weimaraners
Irish Setters Gordon Setters Standard Poodles
German Shepherds Labradors Golden Retrievers
Basset Hounds Doberman Pinschers Old English Sheepdogs
If you would like more information about the suitability of your pet for a keyhole gastropexy procedure then please contact us for more information.
This is not for everyone but if you are ok with graphical surgical images then please feel free to browse our keyhole surgery videos below.