Veterinary Record 173:220 doi:10.1136/vr.101381
  • Research
  • Short communication

A novel technique for surgical removal of protruded perivaginal fat in cattle

  1. G. Hirsbrunner, Dr Med Vet, PhD, Dr Habil, Dip ECAR, Dip ECBHM
  1. Vetsuisse Faculty, Clinic for Ruminants, University of Bern, Bremgartenstrasse 109a, Bern 3012, Switzerland
  1. E-mail for correspondence: gaby.hirsbrunner{at}

Perivaginal fat protrusion is a complication of soft tissue laceration in cases of dystocia in cattle. The vaginal wall is able to heal around the perivaginal fat prolapse, leaving a pedunculated mass of fat covered with granulation tissue (Hull 1995). When the cow lies down or strains, this mass protrudes through the vulva, and the surface often becomes necrotic due to recurrent exposure. The prolapsed tissue usually originates from the lateral vaginal wall. Pedunculated masses of perivaginal fat are often misdiagnosed as tumours (Hull 1995).

Arbeiter and Mayer (1967) have described fat tissue protrusion through the vaginal wall in primiparous as well as in multiparous cows. The protrusion was always located in the region of the hymen (Arbeiter and Mayer 1967). Each case described in their study had a history of assisted calving one to two weeks before being referred for treatment. Particularly at first calving, livestock owners underestimate the time needed for dilatation of soft tissue, leading to premature forced extraction.

Different techniques are described for the excision of the protruded fat tissue: Arbeiter and Mayer (1967) propose an episiotomy and the excision of the fat prolapse with a scalpel and the tamponade of the wound cavity with a resorbable sponge (Spongostan Johnson & Johnson Medical GmbH). Hull (1995) proposed making small cuts in the surface of the protruded fat to produce a gradual protrusion of fat from the inside and then the stepwise excision of the fat tissue avoiding the risk of deep dissection and massive bleeding. Wolfe and Carson (1998) finally described the removal of the fat tissue with an emasculator.

The aim of the present case series is to describe a novel surgical technique to easily and safely remove prolapsed perivaginal fat tissue.

Six adult Eringer cows (numbers 1–6; number 6 was referred …

Sign up for job alerts

Vet Record Careers features a comprehensive database of vet jobs.
Browse for your next job, or set personalised job alerts so you hear about vacancies as soon as they go online.
Find out more at Vet Record Careers

Free Sample Issue

This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of the Veterinary Record.
View free sample issue >>

Navigate This Article