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World's first robotic gastropexy performed by Melbourne Vet

Gastric Torsion, or twisting of the stomach, is a common and often fatal condition of large and giant breed dogs, with 40% of some breeds being affected.

Gastric torsions can occur at any time, progress rapidly and death can occur within hours. Traditional emergency treatment and surgery doesn’t guarantee a successful outcome still having 30% mortality rates.

Melbourne family the Hutchinsons lost their beloved Bernese Mountain Dog to gastric torsion. When they got their new puppy, Alfie, they did not want the same thing to happen again. In pursuit of prevention rather than cure, they actively sought a way to ensure this.


Canine gastropexy is a surgical procedure performed most commonly in large breed dogs to prevent gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), commonly known as canine bloat.

Gastropexy is a surgery with near 100% success in preventing gastric torsion. Traditionally, it involves a full open abdominal surgery with associated post-operative pain, and complications like infection and wound breakdown.


This week Melbourne veterinary surgeon, Dr. Charles Kuntz from South Paws Speciality and Referral Hospital performed the world’s first FlexDex robotic gastropexy.

State of the art technology even in human surgery, the FlexDex allows robotic functionality without the expense of a $3,000,000 robotic surgery system. 


The entire surgery is performed through a couple of keyhole incisions with techniques such as suturing within the abdomen made quick, natural and intuitive, resulting in vastly reduced procedure times, less postoperative pain and fewer complications.


Alfie went home the same day.

Aran Hutchinson, Alfie’s “Dad” reports “He was a bit groggy the night of surgery, but was back to 100% the next day.”


You can watch a video of the surgery at https://youtu.be/GHGNiQ0NQpA

For more information please contact Dr. Charles Kuntz on (03) 9553 1775 or visit www.southpaws.com.au

MEDIA RELEASE, 26th July 2019
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