Skin and Subcutaneous Incision

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In your mind, divide the space between the umbilical scar and the pubis into three thirds.  In a dog, your incision will be centered on the cranial third; it will begin at or just caudal to the level of the umbilicus and end somewhere approximately half way between the umbilicus and pubis.  In cats, the incision is made slightly more caudal and is centered over the central third. 

Divisions of Caudal AbdomenDivisions of Caudal Abdomen

 

 

Canine Ovariohysterectomy - IncisingCanine Ovariohysterectomy - IncisingAfter incising the skin and subcutaneous tissues with a blade, dab or clamp (mosquito forceps) any subcutaneous bleeders.  These rarely require ligation.  Extend your subcutaneous incision to the level of the external fascia using a blade or scissors depending on your comfort level.  Try not to incise the external rectus fascia during this step or to dissect the subcutaneous tissues excessively.  Lateral subcutaneous fat dissection should be limited to what is necessary in order to identify the linea alba.  Excessive lateral dissection should be avoided, since the increased tissue trauma and dead space can increase the risk of incisional complications.  Do not resect subcutaneous fat.