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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2007 Apr 1;230(7):1049-52.

Coelioscopic-assisted prefemoral oophorectomy in chelonians.

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  • 1Veterinary Centers of America Westboro Animal Hospital, 155 Turnpike Rd, Westboro, MA 01757, USA.



To describe a coelioscopic-assisted prefemoral oophorectomy technique for use in chelonians.


Descriptive report.


11 adult female turtles (6 red-eared sliders, 2 box turtles, 1 painted turtle, 1 four-eyed turtle, and 1 Chinese red-necked pond turtle). Five turtles required oophorectomy because of reproductive tract disease; the remaining 6 underwent elective oophorectomy.


Turtles were anesthetized and positioned in dorsal recumbency. An incision was made in the prefemoral fossa, and a 2.7-mm rigid endoscope was inserted into the coelomic cavity and used to identify the ovaries. Each ovary was grasped with forceps and exteriorized through the prefemoral incision. The ovarian vasculature was ligated, and the mesovarium was transected. Closure was routine.


In 8 turtles, bilateral oophorectomy was performed through a single incision. In 2 turtles, unilateral oophorectomy was performed in an attempt to maintain reproductive potential. In 1 turtle with a unilateral ovarian remnant from a previous surgery, unilateral oophorectomy was performed. Nine turtles recovered. One box turtle with severe hepatic lipidosis died 7 days after surgery. A second box turtle died 2 days after removal of retained eggs and a large bacterial granuloma.


Results suggest that coelioscopic-assisted prefemoral oophorectomy is a practical and safe method for treating reproductive disorders and performing elective oophorectomy in turtles. This technique represents a potential alternative to plastron osteotomy in sexually mature chelonians.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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