Objective— To evaluate the efficacy of a laparoscopic peritoneal flap hernioplasty (PFH) to close anatomically the vaginal ring and to evaluate its protective effect in horses with a history of strangulated inguinal hernia (SIH) against future herniation.
Study Design— Prospective study.
Animals— A first group of 5 ponies, 3 horses and 1 donkey with no history of SIH and a second group of 4 horses ‘clinical cases’ with a history of SIH.
Methods— A laparoscopic PFH was effected on all horses under general anaesthesia. Peritoneum ventro-lateral to the vaginal ring was elevated and cut on 3 sides, separated from the underlying muscle, then inverted and attached dorso-medially and laterally to the parietal wall using intra-corporeal stitches (6 cases) or laparoscopic staples (7 cases). Animals of the first group (n=9) underwent a standing laparoscopy 7 days post-operatively to visualize the vaginal rings. Horses of the second group were followed to confirm the absence of re-herniation.
Results— The laparoscopic check-up showed that the vaginal ring had been effectively and completely covered in all cases except the first one. No adhesions was observed. In the four clinical cases, none of the horses have had a reccurence of SIH at the time of writing (6 months to 4 years).
Conclusion— Laparoscopic hernioplasty on a recumbent horse is feasible by closing the vaginal ring with a peritoneal flap. This technique was efficient in our cases to prevent recurrence of SIH but more cases are needed. This technique may reduce inflammation and irritation of the spermatic cord, which could otherwise jeopardise the animal's breeding career.
Clinical Relevance— Laparoscopic PFH coud be used in horses with a history of SIH.