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The goal of our surgeons, registered veterinary technicians and our highly skilled support staff is to provide comfort and pain free personalized treatment with unparalleled care for each and every one of our patients. In addition, the surgery service is supported by our emergency/critical care, internal medicine, radiology, neurology and rehabilitation departments, ensuring the most comprehensive care available anywhere for your pet.

What Is A Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon?

A board certified veterinary surgeon is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained intensive, additional surgical training. A veterinary surgeon can offer special assistance in the following kinds of cases:

  • Traumatic injury and emergencies (such as fractures, skin wounds and lacerations, correction of gastric dilatation-volvulus, and exploratory (abdominal/thoracic) surgery.
  • Orthopedic surgeries (such as cruciate ligament surgeries (TPLOs), and arthroscopy for joint exploration).
  • Soft tissue surgeries (such as tumor/cancer removal and correction of congenital defects).
  • Neurological surgeries (such as herniated discs and spinal injuries).
  • Stem cell therapy (such as osteoarthritis and other orthopedic problems).

While your general practitioner veterinarian can diagnose and treat many health problems, certain diseases and conditions require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive surgical training in order to provide the very best outcome for your pet. Your veterinary surgeon will work closely with your general practitioner veterinarian, as well as, depending on your pet's condition, other board certified specialists in internal medicine, veterinary oncology, veterinary neurology, and veterinary radiology.

Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Surgeon?

Just as your own primary care physician may feel the need to refer you to the care of a specialist from time to time, your general practitioner veterinarian may feel your pet needs the additional expertise of a board certified surgeon for certain surgeries. In fact, many general practitioner veterinarians refer all but the most routine of surgeries to specialists, orthopedic and neurology cases, reconstructive surgeries, tumor removals, etc. Board certified veterinary surgeons also are often affiliated with referral hospitals where they may have access to specialized diagnostic or surgical equipment, the latest and safest anesthesia monitoring equipment, physical therapy or rehabilitation capabilities, and other critical care services that a general practitioner may not have access to. All of these specialized services may be necessary for the optimal care and recovery of your pet. You can be assured that a veterinarian who knows when to refer you and your pet to a veterinary surgeon is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of care for his or her problem.

What Kinds of Problems Require the Expertise of a Veterinary Surgeon?

Board certified veterinary surgeons can repair complex fractures, and use advanced techniques to repair torn ligaments (ruptured cruciate ligaments) within the knee. They can also remove cancerous growths, manage extensive or non-healing wounds, and perform reconstructive surgery, such as grafting skin over large injuries. Veterinary surgeons can perform intricate surgeries in the chest or abdomen, such as kidney transplants in cats or repairing heart defects in dogs. Spinal injuries and herniated discs are problems that are also commonly referred to board certified surgeons. Veterinary surgery is also expanding into minimally invasive surgery, such as arthroscopy, thorascopy, and laparoscopy.

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

In many if not most surgical cases, your regular veterinarian will still supervise your pet's veterinary care, especially if your pet is continuing to cope with a disease or chronic condition. It depends on your pet's particular disease and health problem, however. Typically, though, your general practitioner veterinarian will oversee many aspects of your pet's pre-op and post-op care, just as in human medicine. Recovery periods are often prolonged in many surgical cases, particularly in orthopedic surgery, and it is very important to follow your veterinary team's recommendations concerning at-home recovery guidelines for your pet, follow up care and appointments, as well as any rehabilitation that has been prescribed.

See our departments

Surgery

VCA ASEC is among the largest surgical groups in Southern California, in business for over 30 years. With multiple, board-certified surgeons on-site 7 days a week for consultations and procedures, VCA ASEC provides your pet with an unmatched depth of expertise. VCA ASEC’s surgeons employ the latest technology for all types of surgery and have published articles in veterinary journals for over 25 years.

Here are just a few of the reasons why over 1600 veterinarians refer their challenging surgical cases to VCA ASEC:

  • Multiple surgeons can scrub in on each case, minimizing operative and anesthetic time and enhancing patient care.
  • Multiple specialists means multiple perspectives and opinions instantly available for any given case.
  • Unmatched depth of expertise: VCA ASEC’s team of surgeons has many decades of combined experience.
  • We are always happy to get on the phone and talk through cases.
  • Surgeons are available 24/7/365 for emergency cases requiring immediate surgery.

Surgery Department Services:

  • Soft Tissue Surgery
  • Reconstructive Surgery
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Oncologic (Cancer) Surgery
  • Neuro-spinal Surgery
  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Myelography
  • 3D Printing & Surgical Planning
  • T.P.L.O. (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy)
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Arthroscopic Procedures 

VCA ASEC’s specialists provide minimally-invasive procedures 7 days a week. Minimally-invasive procedures speed healing and provide optimal patient outcomes. Our specialists perform and teach these techniques regularly.

Minimally Invasive Abdominal Procedures:

  • Exploratory laparoscopy
  • Biopsies: gastrointestinal (full-thickness), liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas, lymph nodes, masses
  • Laser Ectopic Ureter Ablation
  • Ovariohysterectomy & ovariectomy
  • Cryptorchidectomy
  • Laparoscopic & endoscopic Gastropexy
  • Gastrotomy
  • Percutaneous laser cystic calculi ablation
  • Cystotomy
  • Nephrectomy

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Procedures:

  • Lung lobectomy (neoplasia; spontaneous pneumothorax)
  • Non-infiltrative thymoma removal
  • Thoracic duct ligation for chylothorax
  • Pericardiectomy
  • Biopsies: lung, pleural, & hilar lesions
  • Pyothorax exploratory

Stents & Interventional Radiology:

  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Ureteral obstruction (calculi, neoplasia)
  • Urethral obstruction (calculi, neoplasia)
  • Esophageal stricture (stent or balloon dilatation)
  • Colonic obstruction (stent or balloon dilatation)
  • Nasopharyngeal stenosis

Common Surgical Conditions:

Our Surgery Services

Surgery Services Overview
Surgical Neurology
3D Printing and Surgical Planning
Advanced Anesthetic Monitoring

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