Saturday, August 27, 2011

568. Surgery Audit. How long it takes to spay a female dog? 18 minutes

I don't know whether the Vet Schools teaches surgery audit nowadays but they did not do that in the 1970s when I studied in Glasgow University.

A surgery audit is important as it improves the surgical and anaesthetic processes, productivity and efficiency of the veterinary surgeon. A vet who takes a long time to spay a female dog uses up more than necessary anaesthetic gas and exposes the dog to a longer risk of anaesthetic deaths.

So, I will be doing a surgery audit of the time taken by a vet to spay a female dog at Toa Payoh Vets. To do that, I have to research on how long it takes me to spay a female dog. I have recorded two cases done earlier. The details are at:

In the two cases, the time between the first skin incision and skin stitched up was 18 and 26 minutes respectively.

Now, in this case of the Shih Tzu I am reporting, the time was 18 minutes as shown in the images below.

Time of first skin incision to time the skin is stitched up = 18 minutes

If the female dog is in surgical anaesthesia without the need to top up, the time taken will be 18 minutes based on 2 female dogs I had spayed. When the dog wakes up in the middle of surgery and needs top up isoflurane gas + oxygen, the time taken will be much longer, e.g. 26 minutes as illustrated in my first report. Without topping up, the surgery time is shortened by as much as 8 minutes!

From the cases, the objective is to ensure that the dog is given isoflurane gas + oxygen as maintenance, rather than use IV anaesthesia of lowered dosage as in the case that took 26 minutes. For my female dog spays in the last 30 years of practice, I have had not used IV anaesthesia as I believe my procedure should be the best and safest. During the last 2 years, I change my mindset and use IV anaesthesia in spaying female dogs as part of continuing education.
18 minutes will be the target for experienced vets doing spay in Toa Payoh Vets. It is a standard to aim for as the shorter the anaesthesia, the safer it is for the dog, especially the older ones.

For cats and with the appropriate dosage, the surgery to spay can be completed as fast as 5 minutes as the cat is much smaller and generally, it is easier to hook out the ovary. However, I need to properly record and document that it is 5 minutes sometime later.
Shih Tzu I am reporting, the time was 18 minutes as shown in the images below.

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