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Unilateral and Bilateral Laparoscopic Ovariectomy in 157 Mares: A Retrospective Multicenter Study


Corresponding Author

Michael Röcken DVM/Priv-Doz, Veterinary Clinic Starnberg Truhenseeweg 8, 82319 Starnberg, Germany




To evaluate surgical techniques, perioperative complications and outcome of laparoscopic surgery for unilateral and bilateral ovariectomy in mares.

Study Design

Retrospective multicenter case series.


Mares (n = 157).


Indications for surgery were neutering, fertility problems, elimination of hormone-related abnormal behavior, ovarian tumors as well as nonregressive ovarian hematomas or cysts. Ovariectomy (n = 206) were performed by a standard laparoscopic procedure in 157 standing sedated mares. Dissection and hemostasis were achieved by using either (1) a linear stapling device, (2) bipolar electrosurgical instruments, with or without a modified Roeder knot, (3) a vessel-sealing system, or (4) a diode-laser with ligation. For some larger ovarian masses (>20 cm diameter), a 2-step surgical procedure was used with standing flank laparoscopic ovariectomy followed by ovarian retrieval through a median celiotomy. Surgical techniques, outcome, and perioperative complications of each method were recorded and analyzed.


Laparoscopic dissection of the ovary was accomplished in all mares. Because of the size of the ovarian tumor (n = 7) or in 1 mare with behavioral problems (n = 1), the dissected ovary was removed through a median celiotomy under general anesthesia. Seventeen mares (10.8%) developed postoperative complications (eg, incisional drainage, incisional infection, seroma formation, dehiscence, transient fever and mild abdominal discomfort). All mares with flank incisional problems had ovarian size >12 cm and in 15 (88%) of these mares electrosurgical instruments were used for mesovarial dissection.


Laparoscopic ovariectomy in standing sedated mares provides good surgical access and is associated with low morbidity.

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