Kunga’s gastropexy, 3 weeks later

About 4 weeks ago, Kunga underwent a laparoscopic gastropexy, surgery intended to prevent the torsion (twisting) of the stomach that goes with bloat.  He had a single incision, about 1.5 inches long. I posted a photo of that incision right after the surgery.  Here it is three weeks later (taken last week):

About 10 days after the surgery, the area around the incision developed a small pouch of fluid.  I’d been told to expect this or it would have freaked me out! The pouch was soft and about the size of half an apricot.  Slowly, over the course of about another week, it disappeared as his body absorbed this extra fluid around the operation site.  Now it is almost gone.  From the grand height of about 4.5 feet (the distance from my eyes to the ground), the whole area is hardly noticeable except as a small white scar.  In fact when Kunga is standing, you can’t see any of this at all.

I’m hugely relieved the whole thing went well, and very glad he is pretty much safe from the fatal gastric torsion that has killed so many of our beloved Danes and other deep-chested dogs.

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  • Leiane Hiltz

    Wonderful news Alxe. So glad Kunga is doing so well. Is this method the latest approach to tacking? I had planned on doing this when my new girl Mira was spayed, as was recommended as the best time to do both procedures. Only, Mira (my 1st female ever) just went into heat at 91/2 mths. Rather caught me off guard. Now I’ve been reading a great deal of studies that discourage spaying until the growth plates are well sealed and growth has stopped (14- 24 months). More reasons were listed then I could convey but the idea was that the risk of mammory cancer did not outweigh all the other risk- growth problems, behaviour issues, other cancers….

    Sorry, to throw all that at you but hoped it couldn’t hurt to get soemone elses thoughts. My males are not intact and she is kept secluded from ALL other dogs but…?

    • Alxe

      Leiane, the vets at Deer Creek highly recommend that tacking be done in conjunction with a laparoscopic spay. That way you have only one anesthesia and one incision. I think 9.5 months is not unusual for first heat. I’ve heard the same as you, that it’s better to wait on spaying Danes until they’re at least a year old in order to give their hormones time to allow full growth. The risk of bloat rises as the dog ages, so a very young bitch shouldn’t be at great risk, and you can wait until she’s about a year before doing both these surgeries. I’m not an expert on the growth topic, though, and invite those with more knowledge to comment.

  • nANCY sIMMONS

    glad you had this done…but the small incision worries e…I have learned that the tacking has to involve at least 3 inches or more or else it can tear loose…found this out the hard way…my dog Phoenix had his come undone 4yrs after srgery…the vet that retacked hi said that the first tacking did not hold because the area tacked was too small…now I specify that to the vets doing the tacking…..and have them talk to the vet that did the original srgery that came u ndone and the specialist that did the repeat surgery.

    • Alxe

      Hi Nancy, an interesting point, but since this was done laparoscopically, the size of the actual INCISION doesn’t matter at all. What matters is how much of the area of the stomach was tacked to the abdominal wall, and the amount that was done was standard. As you say, perhaps if not enough stomach was attached, I imagine it could tear away, but in this case the surgeon got a great deal of the surface area of the stomach tacked. The vets that I use train on this procedure all over the country and have an almost zero failure rate (failure rate in the US generally is about 9%). The size of the incision only has to do with what instruments can go into the abdomen and be manipulated correctly once there.