Postoperative ultrasonographic appearance of uncomplicated enterotomy or enterectomy sites in dogs

Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2008 Sep-Oct;49(5):477-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8261.2008.00412.x.


The ultrasonographic findings in 20 dogs with 25 healing enterotomy and enterectomy sites resulting from the removal of foreign material or correction of intussusceptions are presented. In this prospective study, dogs had preoperative abdominal ultrasound examinations followed by sequential sonographic examinations on the first, third, sixth, and 10th days postenterotomy or enterectomy with an additional sonographic examination after 20 days postoperatively. Documented sonographic features included length and maximal intestinal wall thickness of the enterotomy or enterectomy sites, echogenicity of omental/mesenteric fat, amount of free gas and abdominal effusion, and gastrointestinal motility. Sonographically, 57% of enterotomies and 100% of enterectomies were visualized. Pneumoperitoneum, hyperechoic omental/mesenteric fat, and abdominal effusion did not appreciably hamper evaluation of the intestinal surgical site. Absent wall layering at the surgical site was noted in 96% of dogs at day 1 postoperatively. At the final sonographic examination, wall layering remained altered to absent in 100% of dogs and normal thickness was noted in only 20% of dogs. The median maximal wall thickness was 7 and 8 mm for enterotomies and enterectomies respectively, which occurred between days 1 and 3 and days 3 and 6 postoperatively. Effusion and increased echogenicity of omental/mesenteric fat localized to the surgical site were noted in 42% and 60% of dogs respectively at day 1 postoperatively, with resolution noted between days 3 and 10 postoperatively in 92% and 80% of dogs. Generalized abdominal effusion and pneumoperitoneum were seen in 100% of dogs immediately postoperatively and resolved in 80% by day 10.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Dog Diseases / surgery
  • Dogs
  • Enterostomy / methods
  • Enterostomy / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Intestinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestinal Diseases / surgery
  • Intestinal Diseases / veterinary
  • Intestines / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intestines / surgery*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Postoperative Care / veterinary*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography / methods
  • Ultrasonography / veterinary*
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Wounds and Injuries / veterinary*