Prosthetic Mesh for Obliteration of the Nephrosplenic Space in Horses: 26 Clinical Cases

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Objective:To report surgical complications, occurrence of post-obliteration colic, long term outcome, and return to previous function for horses treated with prosthetic mesh obliteration of the nephrosplenic space.Study Design:Retrospective study.Animals:Horses (n = 26) having nephrosplenic space obliteration using prosthetic mesh.Methods:Horses undergoing mesh obliteration between January 2006 and May 2013 were included. A Proxplast™ mesh was secured to the nephrosplenic space with titanium helical coils in standing horses using laparoscopic technique. Perioperative data were obtained from the medical record and by telephone followup. Tests of proportion were used to compare the study population to the hospital colic population. Occurrence of colic within 1 year of obliteration was compared between horses where the diagnosis was confirmed at laparotomy and those diagnosed by abdominal palpation per rectum using a Fisher's exact test.Results:All 26 horses undergoing mesh obliteration during the study period survived to discharge. Long term followup was available for 25 horses, with 23 returning to their previous level of function, and 21 alive at the time of followup. Cause of death was not associated with the surgical procedure in any case. Geldings and Warmbloods were overrepresented compared to the hospital colic population. Ten horses (38%) demonstrated colic after mesh obliteration. All 10 horses were examined by a veterinarian and none were diagnosed with recurrence of nephrosplenic entrapment.Conclusion:Mesh obliteration of the nephrosplenic space is an effective alternative to suture closure for preventing nephrosplenic entrapment of the large colon in horses. No complications related to mesh obliteration were reported in our study population.

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