Evaluation of post-operative pain after active desufflation at completion of laparoscopy in mares undergoing ovariectomy

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The cause of transient post-operative pain in a subset of horses undergoing laparoscopy is unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate if residual pneumoperitoneum is associated with transient post-operative pain in mares undergoing ovariectomy. Thirty-eight mares undergoing routine standing laparoscopic ovariectomy were randomly allocated into 2 groups. At the completion of laparoscopy, either the abdominal cavity was actively desufflated or the cannulas were opened to achieve ambient pressure before incisional closure. Assessments were performed for 18 hours after surgery using a validated visceral/somatic pain scale for horses. Overall, pain was minimal in both groups (median score 2/39) post-surgery. Active desufflation of the pneumoperitoneum at the completion of laparoscopy approached statistical significance ( = 0.07) in decreasing pain at 12 hours after laparoscopy. However, effects of active desuffation were not significant throughout the monitored 18-hour post-surgery period. We conclude that the decision to actively desufflate at the completion of laparoscopy should be based on surgeon's preference.

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The Canadian veterinary journal = La revue veterinaire canadienne

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