Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Fetotomy

Contributor(s): Herman Jonker, Graham Munroe

Introduction

  • Removal of part(s) of a dead fetusper vaginumto allow the delivery of the fetus in cases of dystocia   Reproduction: dystocia  .
  • Removal of the whole dead fetus in several parts in cases where partial removal is impossible, eg severe ankylotic/deformed fetus.

Uses

Only used in dead fetuses.

  • Used along with traction and manipulation in delivery with abnormalities of fetal presentation, position and posture, eg lateral or ventral head/neck deviation   Reproduction: dystocia  .
  • Fetal abnormalities, eg joint ankylosis   Musculoskeletal: flexural deformity  , wryneck, hydrocephalus   Hydrocephalus  .
  • Fetal oversize.
  • Absence of uterine contractions.

Advantages

  • Avoids the major abdominal surgery of Caesarean section   Uterus: caesarean section  .
  • Less assistance required than Caesarean section.
  • Shorter recovery time/less aftercare.
  • Less cost.

Disadvantages

  • Dead fetuses only.
  • Potential for major trauma to reproductive tract.
  • Generally lowered fertility rates post-fetotomy.
  • Correct equipment required.
  • Not possible if limited space in mare, especially in the small Shetland pony   Shetland Pony  mare, as these are very sensitive to vaginal adhesions.

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

  • Good to guarded for future fertility: this is dependent on the situation after the fetotomy.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Stephenson R (2010) Correction of dystocia in a mare by foetotomy. UK Vet 15 (4), 9-13 VetMedResource
  • Frazer G S (2001) Fetotomy technique in the mare. Equine Vet Educ 13 (3), 151-159 VetMedResource.
  • Blanchard T L et al (1983) Sequelae to percutaneous fetotomy in the mare. JAVMA 182 (10), 1127 PubMed.
  • Brady W E & Hoover T R (1973) Fetotomy in the mare. Vet Med Small Anim Clin 68 (10), 1167-1170 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Jackson P G G (1995)Handbook of Veterinary Obstetrics.W B Saunders, London, UK.


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