Laparoscopic ovariectomy was performed in seven tigers with the use of a vessel-sealing device and a three-port technique. A comparison group of seven tigers that underwent traditional ovariohysterectomy was assembled with the use of a medical records search. Mean operative times for laparoscopic ovariectomy were compared to standard ovariohysterectomy, and mean combined laparoscopic incision length compared to standard ovariohysterectomy incision lengths. Significance was set at P <= 0.05. Mean surgical time for laparoscopic ovariectomy (82 min, range 71-126 min) was significantly shorter than standard ovariohysterectomy surgical time (129 min, range 80-165 min, P = 0.007). Mean combined laparoscopic incision length (8.07 cm, range 3.80-9.50 cm) was significantly shorter than the mean incision length for standard ovariohysterectomy (13.57 cm, range 12.00-20.00 cm, P = 0.009). There were no clinically important complications observed in either group. Laparoscopic ovariectomy has a significantly shorter surgical time and combined incision length compared to standard ovariohysterectomy in tigers, and appears to be a safe and rapid sterilization method for tigers. Equipment cost and the necessity for advanced training may limit its use in some institutions. Further prospective evaluation is warranted to determine whether it is associated with decreased morbidity, mortality, or cost.
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