Objective: To describe a technique for video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) thoracic duct ligation (TDL) in normal cats with a bipolar vessel-sealing device and to assess durability of the seal. Study Design: Prospective case series. Animals: Six healthy research cats. Methods: Cats were placed under anesthesia for computed tomography lymphangiography (CTLA) to identify thoracic duct anatomy. On the basis of CTLA findings, cats were positioned in either right or left lateral recumbency for a 3-port VATS TDL. Thoracic duct branches were dissected from the aorta after subcutaneous indirect near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) lymphography with indocyanine green was performed to optimize detection. A vessel-sealing device was used to seal each thoracic duct in 1 or more locations. Postattenuation, indirect NIRF lymphography was repeated to confirm complete occlusion of thoracic duct flow. CTLA was repeated in all cats 3 months postoperatively. Results: The thoracic duct was surgically approached from the right in 3 cats and from the left in 3 cats. A median of 2.5 (range 1-6) TDL seal sites were applied. In 2 cats, leakage of chyle was detected during dissection. At 3 months postoperatively, CTLA confirmed reestablished chylous flow in 5 of 6 cats, appearing to occur through recanalization of previously sealed sites rather than through development of de novo lymphatic vessels. Conclusion: VATS TDL is feasible in cats, although the variable and delicate nature of feline thoracic duct anatomy should be considered preoperatively. Clinical significance: Bipolar vessel-sealing devices are not a durable modality for thoracic duct sealing in healthy cats in a seal only fashion.
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