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Standing open-flank approach for removal of enlarged pathologic ovaries in mares
  1. G. Kelmer, DVM, MS, DACVS, DECVS,
  2. T. Raz, DVM, PhD, DACT,
  3. D. Berlin, DVM,
  4. A. Steinman, DVM, PhD, MHA and
  5. A. J. Tatz, DVM
  1. Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot, Israel
  1. E-mail for correspondence: galkelmer{at}

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A variety of approaches and techniques for ovariectomy in mares have been described, including laparoscopic procedures performed with the mare standing (Lloyd and others 2007), or with the mare anaesthetised (Ragle and others 1996). Open ventral midline or oblique paramedian approaches have been described as well (Carson-Dunkerley and Hanson 1997). The main complications reported for ovariectomy of enlarged ovaries in mares are due to incomplete haemostasis, excessive tension on the mesovarium and incision-related complications (Nickels 1988). Laparoscopy provides a modern and efficient method for ovariectomy; however, expensive equipment and expertise with the technology are necessary for safe operation (Desmaizieres and others 2003). The open-flank approach for removal of enlarged pathological ovaries described herein eliminates the risks involved with general anaesthesia, enable secure mesovarium ligation with reduced tension, while avoiding the downsides of laparoscopy. The objective of the current study is to describe the technique and the clinical outcome of ovariectomy of large ovaries in standing mares using an open-flank approach.

All mares referred for ovariectomy due to an enlarged ovary between the years 2002–2010 were included in the study (Table 1). Collected data included: signalment, side and size of the affected ovary, histological diagnosis, complications and reproductive status following surgery. The study included 14 mares, aged 3–17 years, weighing 350–500 kg. Breeds represented were Arabian (11), Thoroughbred, Warmblood, and Quarter Horse (1 each). All mares underwent unilateral ovariectomy through an open-flank approach for removal of an enlarged ovary, with the mare standing. In eight mares, the right ovary was removed, and in seven mares, the left ovary was removed (one mare had both ovaries removed 3 years apart). Prior to referral, all mares were evaluated by their referring veterinarians, due to …

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