Surgeries to remove gastrointestinal foreign bodies are often performed in dogs. Although most dogs tend to do well after surgery, serious complications can occur. Dehiscence of full-thickness intestinal incisions and subsequent leakage of intestinal contents into the abdomen can result in septic peritonitis. The overall rate of dehiscence following full-thickness intestinal incisions in dogs was reported to be between 12% and 15.7% in studies1–3 that evaluated dehiscence rates for enterectomy and enterotomy procedures combined and that included multiple indications for surgery (foreign body removal, trauma, and neoplasia). However, current literature does not accurately report the dehiscence rate following enterotomy for foreign body removal alone.
Surgical removal of intestinal foreign bodies is generally accomplished with enterotomy or enterectomy, and the surgeon selects the specific procedure on the basis of an assessment of intestinal ability to recover from ischemic insult.4 Resection and anastomosis is preferred for removal of intestinal foreign bodies associated with substantial ischemic trauma and intestinal compromise. When an enterectomy is required, the affected intestines have presumably undergone more ischemic trauma and compromise, compared with intestines that can be treated with an enterotomy; therefore, the rate of dehiscence following enterectomy may be higher than that following enterotomy. Further, technical difficulty of enterectomy with anastomosis is greater than that of enterotomy, possibly contributing to a higher rate of dehiscence following enterectomy. Previous studies1,2,5 have revealed that the presence of intestinal foreign bodies increases the risk for intestinal dehiscence following surgery; however, to our knowledge, there is no published rate of dehiscence following foreign body removal by enterotomy in a large population of dogs.
The purpose of the study reported here was to determine the intestinal incisional dehiscence rate following enterotomy for foreign body removal in dogs. Knowledge of risks of intestinal incisional dehiscence for specific conditions could guide expectations for prognosis and help to establish standards of care in veterinary surgery. We hypothesized that the rate of intestinal incisional dehiscence following enterotomy for intestinal foreign body removal was less than the reported 12% to 15.7%.1–3 A secondary goal was to investigate previously identified factors (eg, hypoproteinemia [< 5.0 g/dL], hypoalbuminemia [< 2.5 g/dL], and the presence of preoperative septic peritonitis) associated with increased rates of enterotomy dehiscence.1–3,5,6
No third-party funding or support was received in connection with the present study or the writing or publication of the manuscript. The authors declare that there were no conflicts of interest.
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