Gastropexy as a Preventive
A prophylactic gastropexy is a surgical procedure that prevents formation of a gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) in dogs. GDV is an immediately life threatening condition in which the stomach fills with gas (dilatation) and rotates upon itself (volvulus). Often people will refer to this as "bloat." GDV causes life threatening cardiovascular compromise and often severe damage to the stomach and spleen, and as no surprise, can be fatal in 29% of casesa. The good news is that GDV is largely preventable by performing a prophylactic gastropexy.
GDV - www.vetsmall.theclinics.com Incisional gastropexy, Fossum, TW: Small Animal Surgery, Mosby Publishing Co., St. Louis, Mo, 2007.
A prophylactic gastropexy involves surgically attaching the stomach to the abdominal wall, which typically prevents the rotation/volvulus of the stomach in a GDV. Dogs that have had a gastropexy performed still can have a stomach that distends with gas (bloat), but the rotation/volvulus is prevented. And the volvulus is primarily what causes the life threatening consequences of a GDV. Thus, a prophylactic gastropexy can be a life saver for many patients.
When to Perform
a) Glickman LT, Glickman NW, Schellenberg DB, Raghavan M, Lee TL. Incidence of and breed-related risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2000;216(1):40-5.
b) Ward MP, PatronekGJ, Glickman LT. Benefits of prophylactic gastropexy for dogs at risk of gastric dilatation-volvulus. Prev Vet Med. 2003;60(4):319-29.