Assessment of Postoperative Pain in Cats After Ovariectomy by Laparoscopy, Median Celiotomy, or Flank Laparotomy

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Objective:To compare postoperative pain, duration of surgery, and duration of anesthesia for 3 methods of ovariectomy in cats: (1) conventional ventral median open approach (Midline), (2) right flank approach (Flank), and (3) median 2-portal laparoscopic procedure (Lap).Study Design:Randomized, prospective clinical trial.Animals:Healthy, sexually intact female cats (n = 60).Methods:Cats were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: Midline (n = 20), Flank (20), and Lap (20) were evaluated 1, 2, 4, 6, and 12 hours after endotracheal extubation. Postoperative pain was scored using the 4A-vet pain scale that combines a subjective numerical pain rating and objective scoring of physiologic and behavioral variables including the response to stimulation of the surgical site. Pain scores (PS) were compared between groups.Results:There was a significant difference in the PS between groups. PS for Midline and Flank were not significantly different but were both significantly higher compared with Lap. Depending on time, 5–20% of the cats had intense postoperative pain in both Midline and Flank groups. None of the Lap cats had intense postoperative pain.Conclusions:Laparoscopic ovariectomy, although slower, appeared less painful compared with conventional ventral midline and flank ovariectomy. Postoperative pain did not differ significantly between midline and flank groups.

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