Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Abdomen: laparotomy - complications

Contributor(s): Graham Munroe, Jarred Williams

Introduction

  • Post-operative complications following laparotomy are common and contribute significantly to deaths of horses undergoing abdominal surgery.
  • Complications can develop during recovery from anesthesia Anesthesia: recovery - overview, during the early post-operative period or later following discharge from the hospital.
  • Factors involved in the incidence of complications are:
    • Time between surgery and commencement of the problem.
    • Systemic health of patient at start of surgery.
    • The specific condition or lesion.
    • The amount of gastrointestinal, peritoneal and mesenteric inflammation.
    • Surgical technique, including maintenance of asepsis, minimizing bowel damage, accurate anatomical closures, correction of the problem and speed.

Complications detected during anesthetic recovery

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Complications occurring after surgery

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Incisional/anastomotic problems

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Complications following discharge from hospital

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Findley J A, Salem S, Burgess R & Archer D C (2017) Factors associated with survival of horses following relaparotomy. Equine Vet J 49 (4), 448-453 PubMed.
  • Isgren C M, Salem S E, Archer D C, Worsman F C & Townsend N B (2017) Risk factors for surgical site infection following laparotomy: Effect of season and perioperative variables and reporting of bacterial isolates in 287 horses. Equine Vet J 49 (1), 39-44 PubMed.
  • Dugdale A H, Obhrai J & Cripps P J (2016) Twenty years later: a single-centre, repeat retrospective analysis of equine perioperative mortality and investigation of recovery quality. Vet Anaesth Analg 43 (2), 171-178 PubMed.
  • Munsterman A S, Kottwitz J J & Reid Hanson R (2016) Meta-analysis of the effects of adhesion barriers on adhesion formation in the horse. Vet Surg 45 (5), 587-595 PubMed.
  • Kullmann A, Holcombe S J, Hurcombe S D et al (2014) Prophylactic digital cryotherapy is associated with decreased incidence of laminitis in horses diagnosed with colitis. Equine Vet J 46 (5), 554-559 PubMed.
  • Colbath A C et al (2014) The influence of suture pattern on the incidence of incisional drainage following exploratory laparotomy. Equine Vet J 46 (2), 156-160 PubMed.
  • Van Hoogmoed L M (2003) Clinical application of prokinetics. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 19, 729-740 PubMed.
  • Bleyaert H F, Brown M P, Boneclark G & Bailey J E (1997) Laparoscopic adhesiolysis in a horse. Vet Surg 26 (6), 492-496 PubMed.


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