Objectives - To compare tissue specimens of canine abdominal organs collected by standard techniques (ST) and harmonic scalpel (HS) and to determine the effect of each technique on wound healing. Study Design - Experimental. Animals - Twelve dogs. Methods - Paired biopsy samples (ST, HS) were collected from liver, spleen, adrenal gland, pancreas, stomach, jejunum, and bladder using laparoscopic or laparoscopic-assisted methods. Hemorrhage at biopsy sites was assessed (present or absent). Specimens were evaluated for diagnostic quality and histologic changes. Dogs were necropsied at 4 or 14 days postoperatively. Results - HS incision caused less frequent hemorrhage of all organs except spleen. HS specimens had more coagulation necrosis than ST specimens, but both techniques yielded specimens that were sized similarly and were of diagnostic quality. At necropsy, HS biopsy sites of the stomach, jejunum, bladder, adrenal gland, and pancreas were more hyperemic than ST sites. There were more adhesions at jejunal and pancreatic ST biopsy sites. HS biopsy sites had more coagulation necrosis at days 4 and 14 postoperatively. Differences in fibrin deposition, inflammation, and fibrosis were present at biopsy sites of some organs at days 4 or 14 and in comparisons between days 4 and 14. Conclusions - Diagnostic quality biopsy specimens were obtained with HS and ST. Although HS-induced gross and histologic changes during the first 2 postoperative weeks, no clinical complications were observed. Clinical Relevance - Both HS and ST can yield specimens with minimal hemorrhage and HS resulted in no apparent postoperative problems in normal dogs. Although HS caused more inflammation and adhesions at biopsy sites of the pancreas, adrenal gland, and jejunum, no clinical complications occurred.
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