GI surgery: How to achieve better outcomes in veterinary patients

December 14, 2019
Bronwyn Fullagar, BVSc, MS, DACVS

If you are new to performing GI surgery, you might want to work your way up. Dr. Bronwyn Fullagar explains why and also offers a few additional tips to help improve outcomes.

When it comes to improving outcomes in gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, case selection is important, especially if you are new to performing GI procedures, says Bronwyn Fullagar, BVSc, MS, DACVS, locum small animal surgeon at Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Centre in Calgary, Alberta-a Fetch dvm360 conference speaker. She recommends starting out with cases “that are more likely to go well, and those cases would be gastrostomies and enterotomies,” she said.

Dr. Fullagar also explained that until you feel comfortable with your skill set, you should avoid or refer cases in which a patient has a perforation in the small intestine or those in which a pet has been sick for a while, as these cases are associated with a higher risk of complications.

Having the perfect technique is also key to better outcomes, says Dr. Fullagar. “Practice perfect surgical technique, the use of fine sutures in a very controlled way,” she said.

In the video below, check out more tips on how to help your patients achieve better outcomes in GI surgery.