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Laparotomy in the dog: Exploratory Laparotomy

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Laparotomy in the dog: Exploratory Laparotomy

To explore the abdomen well, a mid-ventral incision from xiphoid to pubis might be needed. Once in the abdomen it is necessary to protect the wound edges, protect the viscera, retract the wound edges then retract the viscera to view the organs in turn, and also the difficult to see regions such as the diaphragm, the antero-dorsal gutters and the caudal abdominal peritoneal reflections around organs near the pelvic inlet.

Often viscera are exteriorized, therefore a water barrier drape becomes necessary to guard against "strike-through" from unprepared skin below some regions of the field drape. A way to achieve these goals is demonstrated in this video clip. Note, however, that since the production of this video, and driven by necessity in human surgery, disposable drapes are more uniformly used now. But with due consideration to environmental awareness, any disposable item should, where possible, be biodegradable. If not, the use of washable surgical linen is still relevant.

The questions raised and the techniques demonstrated are relevant to students of surgery and veterinary practitioners. The techniques are basic, but need to be incorporated into routine practice. More information on the "push cut" can be found in the topic on this site dealing with the handling of surgical instruments.

The relationship of the ovary, ovarian ligament and ovarian vascular pedicle to the caudal pole of the kidney is demonstrated. This surgical anatomy is relevant to exteriorizing the ovary during a spay and to finding a bleeder in the event of a dropped pedicle. The information in this video clip will be of value to students , interns and practitioners.

These web videos will need to load for a few seconds before they play. Depending on your broadband connection speed, playback may stop and start. Stopping the video (by pressing the play button again) and waiting for a while before continuing playback will help.

Acknowledgement: A non-survival experimental animal was used in the production of some of this material with the approval of the University of Melbourne Animal Ethics Committee. It is estimated that between 1993 and 2003, over 1000 practitioners from Australia and abroad and more than 500 students will have had the opportunity to view this material. It is now being made available on this web site for the benefit of all students of surgery and practitioners who are seeking to gain or improve their skills. All who view this material add to the debt of gratitude I have for the animals sacrificed and serve as an on-going testimony to them.

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·  Laparotomy in the dog - Right Flank
·  Laparotomy in the dog: Retroperitoneal Approach
·  Laparotomy in the dog - Right Paracostal Extension to ventral midline.