What is Cholecystoduodenostomy?

Cholecystoduodenostomy in dogs is commonly called “bile flow diversion”. In this surgical procedure, the gallbladder will be dissected off the liver, which creates a hole in the gallbladder. The hole that has been created will be sewed directly to a surgically created hole in the small intestine, allowing bile to flow directly into the small intestine. Bile is the fluid the body uses to breakdown fats that the canine consumes during a meal. Usually, bile flows down from the liver, into the gallbladder and into the small intestine through a bile duct. However, an obstruction of the bile duct will prevent bile from reaching the small intestine. A veterinary surgeon may perform a cholecystoduodenostomy in a dog if he/she has a tumor, trauma, or other condition affecting the flow of bile. 

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Cholecystoduodenostomy Procedure in Dogs

Cholecystoduodenostomy in dogs is carried out under general anesthesia. The veterinarian will perform pre-operative blood work to ensure the dog is in good health to have anesthetic administered and for the surgery itself. The dog will then be given a pre-surgical sedative, followed by a tracheal tube to allow the flow of oxygen and anesthetic gas. Once the canine is sedated, he will be taken to the surgical area where the belly will be shaved and cleansed with a sterile antiseptic. The veterinarian will then proceed to perform the surgery. 

  1. The gallbladder will be mobilized from the liver using blunt dissection. 
  2. The gallbladder will be brought to the descending duodenum (portion of the intestine). 
  3. The surrounding area will be packed with sterile, moistened laparotomy sponges. (A type of sponge used to keep internal organs from drying out). 
  4. A continuous suture of absorbable nature will be placed between the serosa of the gallbladder and the serosa of the duodenum. 
  5. The gallbladder will be drained prior to creating an incision.
  6. An incision will be made in the surface of the duodenum. 
  7. The two openings will be brought together and permanently conjoined using an absorbable suture material. 

Efficacy of Cholecystoduodenostomy in Dogs

The goal the veterinarian wishes to obtain from a cholecystoduodenostomy procedure, is to allow the canine to receive bile fluids into the intestine despite the fact that the bile duct is non-functional. If the surgery is successful, bile fluids will be allowed to flow from the liver to the gallbladder, directly to the intestine. The bile will be released in response to the ingestion of a meal as usual and the yellow chemical-filled fluid will restore the canine’s ability to break down fats. 

Cholecystoduodenostomy Recovery in Dogs

Following a cholecystoduodenostomy surgery, your dog will require a great deal of at-home care. Pain and antibacterial medications will need to be administered every day to ensure a positive recovery. Your veterinarian will limit the dog’s physical activities and recommend a change in diet for a period of time. 

Cost of Cholecystoduodenostomy in Dogs

Cholecystoduodenostomy in dogs will cost a pet owner $3,000 to $6,000. Antibiotics will add another $10-$30 to your total cost and if biopsies are required, they may cost an additional $160. 

Dog Cholecystoduodenostomy Considerations

Canines that require a cholecystoduodenostomy procedure are usually very ill, which puts them at a high risk for post-surgical death. In general, canines have a 50/50 chance of survival after surgery. However, if the canine has survived two to three days after the surgery, then the likelihood that the dog will live a long life increases greatly. Other considerations of cholecystoduodenostomy surgery include jaundice, pancreatitis and liver infection. 

Cholecystoduodenostomy Prevention in Dogs

A cholecystoduodenostomy procedure cannot always be prevented, but obesity has been known to be a big factor in bile duct complications in canines. Proper diet and daily exercise are great preventative measures for maintaining a healthy bile duct system.