Laparoscopic anatomy of the abdomen in dorsally recumbent horses

Larry D Galuppo, Jack R. Snyder, John Pascoe, Susan M Stover, Richard Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives - To provide an accurate and detailed description of the laparoscopic anatomy of the abdomen of horses positioned in dorsal recumbency and to compare those observations with laparoscopic anatomy of standing horses. The effects of laparoscopy and positional changes on arterial blood pressure and blood gas values also were investigated. Design - Descriptive anatomic study. Sample Population - Laparoscopy was performed on 6 horses (2 mares, 2 geldings, and 2 stallions) to record the normal laparoscopic anatomy of the abdomen in dorsal recumbency. Procedure - Feed was withheld from all horses for 36 hours. Horses, under general anesthesia, were examined in horizontal and inclined positions (head-up and head-down). Intermittent positive-pressure ventilation was used, arterial blood pressure was continuously monitored, and samples for arterial blood gas measurements were taken at intervals. Results - The main structures of diagnostic relevance observed in the caudal region of the abdomen were the urinary bladder, mesorchium and ductus deferens (left and right), left and right vaginal rings, insertion of the pre-pubic tendon, random segments of jejunum and descending colon, pelvic flexure of the ascending colon, body of the cecum, and cecocolic fold. The main structures observed in the cranial region of the abdomen were ventral surface of the diaphragm, falciform ligament and round ligaments of the liver, ventral portion of the left lateral, left medial, quadrate, and right lateral lobes of the liver, spleen, right and left ventral colons, sternal flexure of the ascending colon, apex of the cecum, and stomach. Conclusions - Alterations in cardiovascular and respiratory function in response to pneumoperitoneum and various positional changes indicated the need for continuous and throrough anesthetic monitoring and support. Comparison of anatomic observations made in dorsally recumbent, inclined horses with those reported for standing horses should enable practitioners to make patient positioning decisions that best suit access to specific visceral structures. Development of special instrumentation for manipulation of the viscera in horses, particularly the intestinal tract, would increase the diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of laparoscopy during dorsal recumbency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-931
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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