The effect of a laparoscopic approach and pyloric surgery on canine gastrointestinal activity, particularly gastric emptying time, is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of laparoscopic and conventional pyloric surgery, in Ramstedt pyloromyotomy and Heineke-Mikulicz pyloroplasty, on complete gastric emptying time in 20 clinically normal dogs. Dogs were divided into four groups of five animals: dogs with laparoscopic Ramstedt pyloromyotomy, conventional Ramstedt pyloromyotomy, or laparoscopic Heineke-Mikulicz pyloroplasty, and the conventional Heineke-Mikulicz pyloroplasty group. Gastric emptying time using barium sulfate mixed with dry kibble dog food was measured fluoroscopically before and 1 month after surgery. Gastric emptying of solids was significantly enhanced in the pyloroplasty groups in the postoperative period compared with preoperative emptying. Just as after conventional pyloromyotomy, gastric emptying time after laparoscopic pyloromyotomy was not statistically different as compared with preoperative values. This study indicates that the fluoroscopic test meal is a valuable tool for defining complete gastric emptying time in normal dogs. We conclude that pyloromyotomy was less effective in decreasing complete gastric emptying time than Heineke-Mikulicz pyloroplasty in normal dogs. The possibility of decreasing complete gastric emptying time by laparoscopic surgery suggests a potential clinical application for this technique in small animals.
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