BACKGROUND : A prospective randomized study was used to compare surgery times for laparoscopic ovariectomy and
salpingectomy in female African lion (Panthera leo) (n = 14) and cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) (n = 20) and to compare
the use of a multiple portal access system (MPAS) and single portal access system (SPAS) between groups. Two different
portal techniques were used, namely MPAS (three separate ports) in lions and SPAS (SILS™ port) in cheetahs, using
standard straight laparoscopic instruments. Portal access system and first ovary was not randomized. Five different
surgery times were compared for the two different procedures as well as evaluating the use and application of MPAS
and SPAS. Carbon dioxide volumes for lions were recorded.
RESULTS : In adult lionesses operative time (OPT) (P = 0.016) and total surgical time (TST) (P = 0.032) were significantly
shorter for salpingectomy compared to ovariectomy. Similarly in cheetahs OPT (P = 0.001) and TST (P = 0.005) were
also shorter for salpingectomy compared to ovariectomy. In contrast, in lion cubs no difference was found in surgery
times for ovariectomy and salpingectomy. Total unilateral procedure time was shorter than the respective bilateral
time for both procedures (P = 0.019 and P = 0.001) respectively and unilateral salpingectomy was also faster than unilateral
ovariectomy (P = 0.035) in cheetahs. Port placement time, suturing time and TST were significantly shorter for
SPAS compared to MPAS (P = 0.008). There was, however, no difference in OPT between SPAS and MPAS. Instrument
cluttering with SPAS was found to be negligible. There was no difference in mean volume CO2 required to complete
ovariectomy in lions but the correlation between bodyweight and total volume of CO2 in lions was significant
(rs = 0.867; P = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS : Laparoscopic salpingectomy was faster than ovariectomy in both adult lions and cheetahs. Using
SPAS, both unilateral procedures were faster than bilateral procedures in cheetahs. Placement and suturing of SPAS in
cheetahs was easier and faster compared to three separate ports in lions and lion cubs. The use of standard straight
instruments during SPAS did not prolong surgery. Surgery was faster in cubs and CO2 required for laparoscopic sterilization
in lions could be determined. Predictable surgery times and CO2 volumes will facilitate the accurate planning
and execution of surgery in lions and cheetahs.