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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1989 Sep 1;195(5):639-42.

Factors affecting incisional complication rates associated with colic surgery in horses: 78 cases (1983-1985).

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  • 1Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada.


From May 1, 1983 to April 1, 1985, 142 operations were performed on horses with signs of acute abdominal pain (colic), using a ventral midline incision. Seventy-eight horses lived for at least 15 days after surgery or had acute dehiscence and were included in the study. Seventy horses had surgery once, and 8 horses had surgery 2 or more times. Six-month follow-up evaluation was obtained for 66 horses that had 1 surgery and for 6 horses that had multiple surgeries. Incisional complications included drainage (including infection), acute dehiscence, hernia, and suture sinus formation. The effects of preoperative peritoneal fluid presence, enterotomy or resection, suture material and pattern used in the linea alba, type of skin closure and use of a sutured-on stent bandage on the incidence of incisional complications were investigated. The complication of incisional infection rate associated with a near-far-far-near suture pattern vs simple interrupted pattern in the linea alba was the only statistically significant (P less than 0.05) difference observed.

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