Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a frequently fatal emergency, and medical treatment alone does not produce favorable long-term results. Several laparotomy and laparoscopy techniques have been used to attach the pyloric antrum to the right abdominal wall, effectively preventing volvulus. This prospective study included 25 client-owned, large-breed dogs to determine the long-term outcome of laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy for prevention of GDV as well as to evaluate a new minimally invasive technique. All dogs had a history of treatment for gastric dilatation or family members with gastric dilatation, and two dogs that had suffered GDV successfully underwent the procedure after the stomach was repositioned. None developed GDV in the year following gastropexy and few had complications. Attachment between the stomach and the abdominal wall remained intact. Laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy is quick, easy, and effective in producing a strong adhesion and should be considered for susceptible dogs and dogs with GDV.

COMMENTARY: Prophylactic gastropexy may be beneficial for dogs at greater risk for GDV, and this technique would be particularly useful in male dogs because it eliminates the need for a long abdominal incision and allows the use of standard surgical instruments.

Prospective evaluation of a laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy in dogs susceptible to gastric dilatation. Rawlings CA, Mahaffey MB, Bement S, Canalis C. JAVMA 221:1576-1581, 2002.