Gastropexy for gastric torsion

Gastropexy is a surgical procedure used to reduce the likelihood of gastric torsion or volvulus (twisted stomach) in dogs, by creating a bond between the stomach and the abdominal wall.

Gastric torsion is a potentially life threatening occurrence that even with aggressive treatment results in death in 10% to 33% of cases.

Gastropexy can be done at the time of surgical correction when repairing a gastric torsion, or it can be done earlier to reduce the chances of it happening in the first place in high risk breeds.

There are a number of different techniques available for both scenarios.

Our preferred method of preventative treatment is laparoscopic assisted gastropexy. This is where key-hole surgery is used to help suture the stomach against the abdominal wall.  The attachment of the stomach to the abdominal wall helps to prevent the stomach twisting.

Prophylactic (preventative) gastropexy has been shown to reduce the lifetime mortality by over 29 times in Great Danes, this is clearly a very worthwhile preventative proceedure.

Advantages of laparoscopic assisted gastropexy:

  • Saves lives.
  • Far less painful with quicker recovery times then traditional surgery.
  • It is safer as the surgeon has a clear view of what they are doing.
  • Creates a stable join.
  • It can be done at the same time as neutering.

Breeds at risk:

Great Danes, German Shepherds, Gordon setters, Irish setters, Bassett hounds, Akitas, bull mastiffs, chow chows and Weimaraners.

Dogs with deep chests are more at risk than barrel chested dogs.