February 28, 2017 is World Spay Day. While SAGE does not provide traditional spay and neuter services, our surgeons frequently do perform spays in combination with gastropexy (laparoscopic gastropexy spay procedure), reducing post-op recovery., a surgical procedure in which the stomach is tacked to the abdominal wall to prevent bloat.

Prophylactic gastropexy is often recommended for large breed dogs susceptible to bloat. This includes Great Danes, Standard Poodles, Saint Bernards, and German Shepherds, for example. The procedure is designed to prevent gastric dilatation volvulus (also known as torsion or bloat), a life-threatening condition that involves the stomach rotating within the body, trapping air and gases in the stomach and cutting off circulation. This often causes the pet to go into shock and can be fatal within a matter of hours.

SAGE Centers Dr. Bianca Bodreau performing a laparoscopic gastropexy spay procedure.

SAGE Dublin’s Dr. Bianca Boudreau (left) performing a laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy.

During a gastropexy, the surgeon tacks the stomach to the body wall with stay sutures. This prevents the organ from twisting later.

One of the benefits of having gastropexy and spay performed at the same time is that the patient only undergoes anesthesia once. Combining procedures also means the pet experiences one post-operative recovery period rather than two.

Gastropexy-spay can be performed laparascopically, a form of minimally invasive surgery. When done this way, the surgeon makes several small incisions, rather than one large incision. A miniature camera and surgical instruments are then inserted into the small incisions. The primary advantage of minimally invasive over traditional open surgery is decreased postoperative pain, generally requiring less pain medication and providing your pet with a more rapid return to normal attitude and appetite.

World Spay Day dates back 20 years and is an annual campaign set forth by the Humane Society to shine a spotlight on pet overpopulation.

If you have a large breed dog and are interested in learning more about gastropexy-spay or neuter, please call your nearest SAGE hospital.