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Vet Rec. 2010 Oct 23;167(17):652-5. doi: 10.1136/vr.c5251.

Clinical assessment and outcome of a single-layer technique for anastomosis of the small intestine in horses.

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Galbreath Equine Trauma, Intensive Care and Research Center, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University, 601 Vernon L. Tharp Street, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


In order to assess postoperative outcome in horses undergoing end-to-end anastomosis of the small intestine, performed using a one-layer technique, 15 horses that underwent exploratory coeliotomy, resection of the small intestine and end-to-end anastomosis using a continuous Lembert pattern were studied. Information on the age, breed, sex, diagnosis, treatment, complications and outcome of each case were obtained from medical records. Follow-up information was obtained via telephone conversations with clients and trainers. Five of the horses had short-term postoperative complications: one had postoperative ileus (POI), colic and peritonitis, one had POI and colic, two had POI only and one had diarrhoea only. A second exploratory coeliotomy was recommended in two of the 15 horses (13 per cent). The short-term survival rate, defined as survival up to the time of discharge from the hospital, was 93.3 per cent (14 of 15 horses). The long-term survival rate, defined as survival for at least 12 months after the surgery, was 84.6 per cent (11 of 13 horses followed up).

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