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Prophylactic Gastropexy (Stomach Tacking)

Laparoscopic Assisted Gastropexies are a relatively new, less invasive way of surgically preventing a life threatening GDV in at risk breeds.  A prophylactic gastropexy involves tacking the outer lining of the stomach to the abdominal wall, creating a strong permanent attachment.  Once healed, this strong bond prevents the stomach from twisting on itself.  Traditionally, having a gastropexy performed on your dog would require a full abdominal incision which could lead to longer recovery times and more post-operative discomfort.  In fact, prophylactic gastropexies have been recommended as worthwhile for years but the invasiveness of the procedure deterred most people from having them done.  Laparoscopic gastropexies allow us to tack the stomach to the abdominal wall through a very small incision (approx. 2" long).  This minimally invasive approach leads to less post-operative discomfort and a much faster recovery time.

What is bloat?


Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), commonly referred to as “bloat”, is a life threatening disorder most commonly seen in large, deep-chested dogs. In it's early stage, the stomach fills with gas, causing a simple gastric dilatation or bloat. Sometimes, the condition progresses no further than a bloat. A GDV is a progression of the bloat into a volvulus, in which the huge, gas-filled stomach twists upon itself so that both the entrance and exit of the stomach become occluded.  The exact cause (or causes) of bloat are not fully understood, but are believed to involve multiple factors.  Large breed dogs with deep chests are generally thought to be at higher risk, and it is also believed that there is a genetic component involved (family history of bloat in a given line).

This is a life-threatening emergency that requires surgery to correct

Possible Risk Factors:

  • Large deep chested dogs

  • Genetic/Familial History

  • Male dogs at higher risk than female

  • Eating or drinking a large amount followed by exercise*

  • Only eating once daily*

  • High anxiety or fearful dogs* 


* not definitively proven, but are generally accepted as possible risks

Laparoscopic Gastropexy
Laparoscopic Gastropexy1

At Risk Breeds:

  • Weimaraner

  • Great Dane

  • Irish Wolfhound

  • St. Bernard

  • Standard Poodle

  • Boxer

  • Doberman Pinscher

  • Geman Shepherd

  • Irish Setter

  • Bassett Hounds

  • Various Mastiff Breeds

  • Larger Goldendoodles & Labradoodles

Gastric Dilation Volvulus, GDV, bloat

Additional Resources:


DVM 360 Article on GDV


American College of Veterinary Surgeons GDV info - click here

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