Veterinary laparoscopic surgery is becoming more common. Published descriptions of portal placement, however, are imprecise and lack consensus. This leads to uncertainty on proper portal placement and potential surgical error and injury. The purpose of this study was to establish and evaluate a mapping system for portal placement during laparoscopic procedures in small animals.
Senior veterinary students were randomly divided into 2 groups and asked to virtually chart positions of laparoscopic portals on photographs of a dog’s abdomen. Group A placed the portals using the authors’ newly developed orthogonal mapping system. Group B placed the portals based on written description of portal placement provided in 2 recent veterinary laparoscopic publications. Group A had a significantly greater correct placement rate (94.91%) than Group B (40.8%), and the mean distance to the desired point was significantly smaller for Group A. Results suggested that the mapping system significantly improved chances for correct portal placement in a dog photograph model and that the mapping system may better enable correct portal placement and improve repeatability of laparoscopic procedures, especially by novice surgeons.