Surgical removal of intestinal foreign bodies using a laparotomy-assisted endoscopic approach in dogs and cats and comparison with enterotomy

J Small Anim Pract. 2023 Jan;64(1):43-50. doi: 10.1111/jsap.13550. Epub 2022 Oct 27.


Objectives: To describe a novel surgical technique for intestinal foreign body removal without enterotomy using a laparotomy-assisted endoscopic approach and compare short-term outcomes to enterotomy.

Materials and methods: Medical records of dogs and cats with intestinal foreign bodies that underwent attempted treatment with a laparotomy-assisted endoscopic approach between June 2019 and July 2021 were extracted. The approach consisted in manoeuvring the intestinal foreign body into the stomach during laparotomy and then removing it via a gastroscopy. If the foreign body was unmovable, an enterotomy was performed.

Results: Fifty-eight cases were enrolled and foreign bodies were successfully removed in 25 cases using a laparotomy-assisted endoscopic approach. The median distance between the pylorus and the proximal part of the foreign body was 55 cm (range: 0 to 300). The mean surgical time and median endoscopic time were 49 minutes (±sd 12.8) and 5 minutes (range: 2 to 28), respectively. All but two cases were discharged 1 day postoperatively. In 20 cases, the foreign body was not easily movable, and an enterotomy was performed. In three of these cases, conversion to enterotomy was required due to serosal tears that occurred as a consequence of the attempted retrograde manipulation of the foreign body. Foreign body width, length and distance to pylorus were not significantly different between the two techniques. Mean surgical time was significantly shorter for laparotomy-assisted endoscopic approach compared to enterotomy: 49 minutes (±SD 12.8) versus 61.7 minutes (±SD 14.6).

Clinical significance: Surgical removal of intestinal foreign bodies through a laparotomy-assisted endoscopic approach is a feasible technique that offers satisfactory outcomes and shorter surgical time than enterotomy. Retrograde manipulation of the intestinal foreign body may result in serosal tears.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases* / surgery
  • Cats
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures* / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases* / surgery
  • Dogs
  • Foreign Bodies* / diagnostic imaging
  • Foreign Bodies* / surgery
  • Foreign Bodies* / veterinary
  • Intestinal Diseases* / veterinary
  • Laparotomy / veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies