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Updated 2/24/08

A few miscellaneous examples of colic surgery procedures include:

a.

Untwisting of the large colon in a horse with large colon volvulus. Following this it may be necessary to remove much of the colon if it appears severely damaged at surgery.

b.

Removal of a section of dead small intestine that has been strangulated by a fatty tumor (lipoma) and re-attachment of healthy intestine.

c.

Removal of a hard feed impaction from the small colon of a pony.

These are just examples. There are countless other procedures and combinations of procedures.

COST AND PROGNOSIS OF SOME COMMON COLIC SURGERY PROCEDURES:

Type of colic

Cost

Prognosis

Factors affecting

Exploration of the abdomen only

$1800.00-$3500.00

n/a

How hard it is to make diagnosis.

Small colon impaction

$5000-$6500.00+  

75% survival to discharge

infection or colitis Duration, location

Large colon displacement/ impaction

$5000.00-$6500.00

85%- 90% survival to discharge

Duration, specific type of impaction or displacement, damage to colon

Strangulating large colon volvulus

- $6000-$9500.00+

10% -85% [65%] survival to discharge

Damage to colon, duration

Small intestinal resection/anastamosis

$6000-$10000.00+  

10%-85% [65%]

survival to discharge

Amount and location of affected intestine, duration.

Cecal impaction

$5500.00+

65% survival to discharge

Duration, damage to cecum

**Costs include surgery and post-operative care. The reason a “+” is present in front of the higher range is to account for the possibility of complications or extenuating circumstances.

**. We can give you a general idea of cost before surgery. Once we open the abdomen, we can give you a better idea of survival percentage and expected cost.  Once a diagnosis is made and costs and survival percentage are discussed, a decision can be made as to whether to continue with the surgery or to euthanize the horse on the table.

It is important to realize that the above percentages reflect the survival to discharge from the hospital.  A percentage of horses that survive colic surgery and return home will not be alive 1 year later. It is important to know this.

Intestinal damage from the original condition, recurrence of that abdominal problem or others, and other complications are responsible for this. The percentage of survival long term depends on many factors. You should ask about these factors before you agree to colic surgery.

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