Objective To describe a surgical technique for, and outcome after, laparoscopic vasectomy of free-ranging elephants. Study Design Case series. Animals African elephants Male elephants (12–35 years old) were anesthetized with etorphine and supported in a sling in a modified standing position, and positive pressure ventilated with oxygen. Anesthesia was maintained with IV etorphine. Vasectomy was performed under field conditions by bilateral, open-approach, flank laparoscopy with the abdomen insufflated with filtered ambient air. A 4-cm segment of each ductus deferens was excised. Behavior and incision healing were recorded for 8 months postoperatively. Results Successful bilateral vasectomy (surgical time, 57–125 minutes) was confirmed by histologic examination of excised tissue. Recovery was uneventful without signs of abnormal behavior. Large intestine lacerations (3 elephants; 1 full and 2 partial thickness) were sutured extracorporeally. One elephant found dead at 6 weeks, had no prior abnormal signs. Skin incisions healed without complication.
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