Circular staplers apply two rows of staples in a circular configuration for end-to-end anastomosis of the large and small
intestine, as well as the esophagus. They also are effectively used for anastomosing the terminal esophagus or duodenal segment
(Bilroth I) to the stomach. They have been used in partial colectomy procedures both in dogs and cats. Although they remain
as an important stapling device in veterinary soft tissue surgery, they are the least commonly used stapling device in most
small animal surgical practices. Despite this, they are quite useful for the more challenging anastomotic procedures performed
in small animal surgery.
Smaller versions of the tissue staplers are available for use in endoscopic surgery. Although this area of small animal surgery
is limited in scope at this time, it is an important area in human surgery. These modified instruments can be used for minimally
invasive surgery, or applied in combination with conventional approaches to the thorax and abdomen, especially in smaller
The newer designs in stapling equipment continue to facilitate their application in surgery. Over time, veterinarians will
continue to use staplers for conventional applications, while determining new uses for this innovative line of instruments.
Dr. Pavletic is the head of the Department of Surgery and director of surgical services at Boston's Angell Memorial Animal
Hospital. He is a 1974 graduate of the University of Illinois and a 1981 diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
He is the author of the 1999 Atlas of Small Animal Reconstructive Surgery, Second Edition, published by W.B. Saunders.