Objective To determine if postoperative C-reactive protein (CRP)or cortisol concentrations were significantly changed betweendogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy by an experienced or inexperiencedsurgeon. As part of the Charles Sturt University teachingprogram, 45 bitches from an animal shelter were surgically sterilisedbetween March and October 2010.Methods The dogs were randomly assigned to surgeons, with 37sterilised by veterinary undergraduates and 8 by experienced surgeons.Blood samples were collected preoperatively and at 2, 4 and6 h postoperatively. A standard midline ovariohysterectomy wasperformed and detailed records kept.Results The median surgery time for experienced surgeons was17 min versus 87 min for inexperienced surgeons. Anaesthesia timeand blood loss were greater among the inexperienced surgeons.The CRP concentration increased significantly postoperatively forall animals (P < 0.001). Bitches sterilised by inexperienced surgeonshad a significantly greater rise in CRP at 4 and 6 h post-surgery (P =0.046). Serum cortisol concentrations were found to increase significantlyover time for all animals (P < 0.001), but were not affectedby surgeon experience.Conclusion The results suggest that inexperienced surgeonsaffect their patients differently to experienced surgeons, potentiallythrough tissue trauma or anaesthetic duration. The lack of differencein the cortisol concentrations reflects the large number oftriggers for cortisol release and, potentially, that there was littledifference between the groups in terms of perceived pain in thepresence of good analgesia. Serum CRP concentration may be amore sensitive measure than serum cortisol of differences in surgicaltrauma.
Michelsen, J., Heller, J., Wills, F., & Noble, G. (2012). Effect of surgeon experience on postoperative plasma cortisol and C-reactive protein concentrations after ovariohysterectomy in the dog: a randomised trial. Australian Veterinary Journal, 90(12), 474a-478. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-0813.2012.01013.x