Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Flank laparotomy

Synonym(s): Abdominal surgery

Contributor(s): Paul Wood , Robert Smith

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Introduction

  • Technique for performing a flank laparotomy in cattle.
  • Indicated if no specific diagnosis has been made but the clinical picture indicates involvement of the gastrointestinal or urogenital tracts.
  • Indicative signs may include:
    • Presence of audible 'pings'.
    • Abdominal pain.
    • Abdominal distension.
    • Gastrointestinal hypomotility.
    • Reduction in fecal output.
    • Heart rate >100 beats per minute.

Uses

  • For diagnosis and/or surgical correction of various abdominal organ problems.
  • Approach is determined according to clinical signs.
  • Right sided approach is preferable if unsure from the clinical presentation.

Indications

  • The decision to perform a laparotomy may be based on suspicion of one of the problems listed below.
  • However, it may also be performed due to vague clinical signs, where any abdominal event is suspected and surgery will aid diagnosis and treatment. 
  • This decision will often be subjective and based on the experience of the veterinary surgeon. 
  • The prognosis and value of the animal may play a deciding role.
Left Sided approach
  • When incising in the left sub lumbar fossa, a more cranial approach may be indicated if cranial abdominal organ involvement is suspected and likewise for more caudal.
  • Left sided approach will be appropriate for:
Right Sided Approach
  • Again, when incising in the right sub lumbar fossa, a more cranial approach may be indicated if cranial abdominal organ involvement is suspected and likewise for more caudal.
  • Right sided approach will be appropriate for:
Advantages
  • The location and viability of affected organs can be checked systematically.
  • Many organs can be visualized and suitable samples taken if necessary.
  • Visualization of the problematic organ can aid in determining prognosis.

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

  • Dependent on findings and diagnosis.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMed Resource.
  • Edmundson M A (2008) Local and Regional Anesthesia in Cattle. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 24 pp 211-226.
  • Meylan M (2008) Surgery of the Bovine Large Intestine. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 24 pp 479-496.
  • Niehaus A J (2008) Rumentomy. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 24 pp 341-347.
  • Niehaus A J (2008) Surgery of the Abomasum. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 24 pp 349-358.
  • Anderson D E (2008) Surgical Diseases of the Small Intestine. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 24 pp 383-401.

Other sources of information

  • Hendrickson D A & Baird A N (2013) Flank Laparotomy and Abdominal Exploration. In Turner and McIlwraith’s Techniques in Large Animal Surgery. Wiley Blackwell. pp 212-215.
  •  Scott P, Penny C D & Macrae A I (2011) Diseases of the digestive tract and abdomen. In Cattle Medicine. Manson Publishing. pp 59-93.
  • Fubini S L & Ducharme N G (2004) Farm Animal Surgery. Ed: Fathman E M. Saunders. pp 184-281.
  • Noakes D E, Parkinson T J & England G C W (2001) The caesarean operation. In Arthur’s Veterinary Reproduction and Obstetrics. Ed: Bureau S. Sunders. pp 341-363.


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