ISSN 2398-2985      

Gastrotomy / gastrectomy

Jreptile

Introduction

  • The most common indications for gastrotomy in exotic species include foreign body ingestion (common in reptiles), trichobezoars, neoplasia and gastric biopsy.
  • Foreign body ingestion is common in reptiles, affecting chelonia and lizards most commonly. This can range from ingestion of housing substrate (bark chips in bearded dragons and other lizards) as well as stones (tortoises).
  • Acute and chronic anorexia often lead to a negative energy balance in many exotic species with a secondary hepatic lipidosis.
  • Ulceration and necrosis of the stomach may occur, and gastrectomy may be indicated in some patients if a perforation is suspected on laparotomy.
  • Care needs to be taken when handling the gastrointestinal tract in many exotic species as the organ wall is often very thin, particularly when stretched due to bloat (cecum, stomach).
  • To avoid iatrogenic tissue trauma during gastrotomy it can be helpful to have an assistant holding the relevant tissues instead.

Uses

Advantages

  • Gastrotomy and gastrectomy allow for direct visualization of the gastrointestinal tract and possible ulceration.
  • Biopsies of the gastric lining can be collected and removal of foreign bodies as well as biopsies and resection of necrotic lining performed.

Disadvantages

  • Invasive procedure requiring celiotomy Celiotomy.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Gastrotomy: good to guarded.
  • Gastrectomy: guarded.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Girolamo N D & Mans C (2016) Reptile soft tissue surgery. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 19 (1), 97-131 PubMed.
  • Baron H R, Allavena R, Melville L M & Doneley R J T (2014) Gastric adenocarcinoma in a diamond python (Morelia spilota spilota). Aust Vet J 92 (10), 405-409 PubMed.
  • Vasaruchapong T & Chanhome L (2013) Surgical removal of foreign bodies in the gastrointestinal tract of Monocellate cobra, Naja kaouthia. Thai J Vet Med 43 (2) 297-300 VetMedResource.
  • Alworth L C, Hernandez S M & Divers S J (2011) Laboratory reptile surgery: principles and techniques. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 50 (1), 11-26 PubMed.
  • Souza M J, Hall K E, Wilson D W & Lewbart GA (2004) Surgical removal of an artificial chicken egg from the gastrointestinal tract of black rat snake (Elaphe obsolete). J Herpetol Med Surg 14 (4), 4-5 ResearchGate.
  • Jacobson E, Calderwood H & Spencer C (1980) Gastrotomy in a gulf hammock snake (Elaphe obsoleta williamsi). Vet Med Small Anim Clin 75 (5), 879-880 PubMed

Other sources of information

  • Divers S J & Stahl S J (2019) Gastrointestinal Tract. In: Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery. Elsevier, USA. pp 169-170.
  • Divers S J & Stahl S J (2019) Gastroenterology - Oral Cavity, Esophagus, and Stomach. In: Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery. Elsevier, USA. pp 759-760.
  • Doneley B, Monks D, Johnson R & Brendan C (2017) Surgery. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery in Clinical Practice. Wiley & Son, USA. pp 390.
  • Mitchell M & Tully T N (2016) Gastrointestinal System. In: Current Therapy in Exotic Pet Practice. Elsevier, USA. pp 221-276.
  • Bojrab M J, Waldron D R, Toombs J P & Monnet E (2014) Surgical Techniques in Small Exotic Animals. In: Current Techniques in Small Animal Surgery. 5th edn. Scopus, USA. pp 690-691.
  • Bennett R A & Mader D R (2006) Surgery. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery. 2nd edn. Ed: Mader D R. Saunders Elsevier, USA. pp 581-630.
  • McArthur S (2004) Surgery. In: Medicine and Surgery of Tortoises and Turtles. Eds: McArthur S, Wilkinson R & Meyer J. Blackwell Publishing, UK. pp 435-439.

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