Over the past couple of weeks, specialist surgeons have undertaken the first, of what we hope will be many, standing tie-back procedures at Rossdales Equine Hospital. Instead of having a general anaesthetic the patients are sedated in specially designed stocks, and the surgery is performed using local anaesthetic.
Also, as part of an international group of surgeons and research clinicians, we have performed our first laryngeal nerve re-implantations. This revolutionary procedure provides an alternative to the traditional tie-back in patients that are diagnosed early enough in the disease process. Complications and management restrictions notoriously associated with the tie-back procedure should, therefore, be avoided in these cases. The surgery involves transplantation of one of the nerves supplying a muscle in the neck into one controlling the part of the affected larynx. The full effects of this innovative new treatment will take a number of months to be fully realised, so at present, it is of limited use for horses in training. However, for young horses with obvious laryngeal asymmetry that are identified prior to entering competitive work it is a useful alternative to the tie-back procedure.
If referring veterinary surgeons wish to discuss any cases that may be suitable for this revolutionary new treatment, please contact Tim Barnett on 01638 577754 to arrange an initial work up and potential surgery.
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