Electrocautery Snare to remove a Gastric Polyp in a Cat is the fancy name, but I prefer…
“Cat Stomach Lump Removed Using an Electric Lasso!”
We recently saw a 7 Year Old British Short Haired cat called Kiwi that had been vomiting and going off her food.
Dr Robbie combined forces with Dr Clint Yudelman, a Specialist in Internal Medicine, who runs Insight Mobile Veterinary Diagnostics, where he performs specialist procedures at our Hospital.
Dr Clint diagnosed a mass in her stomach using ultrasound, which was causing a blockage of her stomach outlet.
We needed to get a biopsy of the lump to determine if it was a cancer, polyp, or some other weird thing.
Dr Clint then used his Endoscope (long internal camera) to head into Kiwi’s stomach, where we could see the mass.
Using some cool little pinchers that fit through the endoscope, Dr Clint was able to take several biopsies of the mass (as well as the surrounding stomach and first part of the small intestine) to send to the lab to get a diagnosis of what the lump was.
The biopsy results came back as an inflammatory polyp, rather than looking like cancer!
So the next question, was how to get it out?
Option 1 was surgery to remove that part of the stomach.
Option 2 was to use an electrocautery snare (or an Electric Lasso!) that could be passed through the endoscope to go around the mass, and cauterise the stalk of the mass to stop it bleeding.
The owners elected to go for option number 2!
So we got Kiwi in for another light general anaesthetic and Dr Clint and his nurse Libby came back with their Electric Lasso!
Dr Clint and Nurse Libby using the endoscope with the electrocautery snare, hooked into our electrocautery machine.
With some handy scope work, Dr Clint as able to loop the snare around the mass in Kiwi’s stomach, passing it through a small port in the scope that allows instruments through.
Electrocautery means using an electrical current to help to cauterise tissues to stop bleeding. The snare is a loop that allows the electrical current to be applied directly to the stalk of the mass, and as the snare is made smaller the stalk is cut and bleeding is stopped straight away.
With the snare firmly in place around the stalk, the current was passed through the stalk, with the snare being tightened to cut through.
You can see from this image, the mass becoming more purple as the blood supply is cut off.
Once the snare had pulled through, Dr Clint was able to retrieve the mass with a normal snare and pull it out of Kiwi’s mouth.
Here is Kiwi after the mass has been removed (you can see the white spot on the lining on the stomach where the mass was removed). It was about 2.5cm in size!
Kiwi woke up uneventfully, and went home and started eating straight away.
This technique is the same as what is used by human doctors to remove polyps from stomachs in people!
This video shows the mass being removed – there’s not a lot of blood, but it is a “surgical procedure”, so if you’re a bit squeamish, maybe, just don’t watch it…
Thanks to Dr Clint from Insight Mobile Vet Diagnostics for allowing the use of the images, and Kiwi’s owners for letting us write up this case!