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Companion Animal Practice
Surgical haemostasis
  1. Jacqui Niles

    Jacqui Niles qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, London, in 1993. She spent three years in practice before taking up a residency in small animal soft tissue surgery at Liverpool University in 1996. She holds the RCVS certificate in small animal surgery and her special interests include all aspects of soft tissue surgery, especially the surgical management of portosystemic shunts and chylothorax.


EFFECTIVE haemostasis is vital for a successful surgical outcome because severe or prolonged haemorrhage can lead to critical blood loss, resulting in shock, hypoxia and death. In addition, bleeding obscures the surgical site, reducing the accuracy of the surgical technique; blood on drapes, instruments and gloves provides an ideal medium for bacterial growth and increases the likelihood of infection; and fluid that collects between tissue layers, resulting in haematoma or seroma formation, can delay healing by preventing apposition of tissues, interfering with the blood supply and inhibiting the influx of phagocytic cells to the area, encouraging bacterial growth. Therefore, it is important not only that surgeons are familiar with techniques available for achieving meticulous surgical haemostasis, but that they understand normal haemostatic mechanisms as well as diseases that affect haemostasis.

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