Equine Right Dorsal Displacement Surgery and Post-Op Complications

37% of RDDC and 52% of NSAC patients developed at least one complication post-op.

A research paper compared post-operative complications from right dorsal displacement of the colon (RDDC) with other colon lesions that are non-strangulating (NSAC). Amy Dragoo

At the 12th International Equine Research Symposium, a paper was presented comparing post-operative complications from right dorsal displacement of the colon (RDDC) with other colon lesions that are non-strangulating (NSAC) (Whyard, J.M. and Brounts, S.H. Post-Operative Complications And Survival In Horses With Right Dorsal Displacement Of The Ascending Colon Compared With Other Non-Strangulating Ascending Colon Lesions. Equine Vet Educ 2017, vol. 29, supp 8, p. 31).

The study included 130 horses with the following summation that might be helpful for counseling clients as to whether or not to pursue colic surgery:

  • 60% had RDDC and 54% had NSAC lesions.
  • 37% of RDDC and 52% of NSAC patients developed at least one complication post-op.
  • The complications in the RDDC group were more serious than those in the NSAC group.
  • 93% of NSAC horses were discharged compared to only 77% of RDDC horses.
  • RDDC horses had a greater incidence of a second surgery before discharge than the NSAC horses.
  • Short-term survival was impacted by complications in the RDDC group.
  • Long-term survival was equivocal for both groups. 
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