OBJECTIVE To evaluate perioperative morbidity and outcome in dogs and cats undergoing esophageal surgery.
DESIGN Retrospective case series.
ANIMALS 63 client-owned dogs and 9 client-owned cats.
PROCEDURES Medical records of dogs and cats that underwent esophageal surgery were reviewed for information on signalment, history, results of preoperative diagnostic testing, condition treated, details of surgery, intraoperative complications, and postoperative complications. Long-term follow-up data were obtained via veterinarian and client telephone conversations. The relationship between complications and survival to hospital discharge was evaluated by means of regression analysis.
RESULTS The most common indication for surgical intervention was an esophageal foreign body in dogs (50/63 [79%]) and esophageal stricture in cats (3/9). Complications were documented in 54% (34/63) of dogs and 3 of 9 cats. The most common immediate postoperative complications were respiratory in nature (9 dogs, 1 cat). Partial esophagectomy and resection with anastomosis were significantly associated with the development of immediate postoperative complications in dogs. The most common delayed postoperative complications were persistent regurgitation (7 dogs) and esophageal stricture formation (3 dogs, 1 cat). For dogs, a mass lesion and increasing lesion size were significantly associated with the development of delayed postoperative complications. Six dogs (10%) and 1 cat died or were euthanized prior to discharge, and pneumomediastinum and leukopenia were negative prognostic factors for dogs being discharged from the hospital.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of this study suggested that the short-term prognosis for dogs and cats that survive surgery for treatment of esophageal lesions is favorable, with 90% of patients discharged from the hospital (57/63 dogs; 8/9 cats). However, dogs treated for more extensive esophageal lesions as well as those undergoing esophagectomy or resection and anastomosis were more likely to develop postoperative complications.