OBJECTIVE To determine the most effective hemostatic knot configuration performed by veterinary students following a brief training session with an experienced surgeon and a subsequent deliberate self-training period.
SAMPLE 24 fourth-year veterinary students with no previous surgical knot–tying experience.
PROCEDURES In a 1-hour training session, an experienced surgeon showed veterinary students how to perform 5 hemostatic knot configurations (giant, slip, strangle, surgeon's, and transfixing), which they then practiced at home on a hemostasis simulator for 2 weeks. Thereafter, students performed each knot 4 times (twice each with monofilament and multifilament suture) on a hemostasis simulator. An experienced surgeon evaluated the correct execution of knots and measured their effectiveness by use of a manometer to measure vessel pressure distal to the ligature. Each student completed a questionnaire regarding their perceived learning and execution difficulty and sealing security for each knot. Responses were compared among knots and suture materials.
RESULTS Overall, students considered the surgeon's knot the easiest to learn and the strangle knot the most difficult. The slipknot was also considered the easiest knot to perform, and the giant knot was considered the most difficult. The strangle knot was deemed the most effective in reducing vessel pressure distal to the ligature.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The strangle knot was the most effective hemostatic knot in inexperienced hands, although veterinary students considered it more difficult to learn than other, perhaps more commonly taught, knots. Therefore, teaching of the strangle knot should be encouraged in veterinary schools.
CASE DESCRIPTION 8 horses (5 geldings and 3 mares) were evaluated for laparoscopic closure of the nephrosplenic space following a history of recurrent left dorsal displacement of the large colon.
CLINICAL FINDINGS All horses underwent a physical examination and routine clinicopathologic testing. Transrectal palpation and transabdominal ultrasonography were performed to exclude the presence of organs in the left paralumbar region.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME A left flank laparoscopic approach with the horses standing was used. A continuous suture was placed in a craniocaudal direction between the renal and splenic capsules with unidirectional barbed suture material. This allowed obliteration of the nephrosplenic space without the need for knots to secure the leading and terminal ends of the suture line. In all horses, transrectal palpation was performed 2 months after surgery; at this time, closure of the caudal part of the nephrosplenic space was evident. In 2 horses, follow-up laparoscopy was performed, and complete closure of the nephrosplenic space was confirmed. Telephone follow-up revealed that none of the horses had any signs of recurrent left dorsal displacement of the large colon.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that laparoscopic nephrosplenic space closure with unidirectional barbed suture material could be considered as an option for prevention of left dorsal displacement of the large colon in horses. In the horses of this report, barbed suture material allowed secure ablation of the nephrosplenic space and eliminated the need for intracorporeal knot tying.