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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, and neurology 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 total hip replacements (THRs), 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, perform total hip replacements, 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.

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When your pet needs a consultation with a surgical specialist you can rely on our ACVS Board-Certified Surgeons to give your pet a thorough evaluation and provide you with the information you need about diagnostic testing, treatments, and prognosis. Our surgeons are experts with regards to when surgery is necessary and, just as importantly, when surgery may not be the best choice for your pet. If surgery is the best option, rest assured your pet is in capable hands. Our doctors and technical staff are here to help guide you and your pet through the process. When possible and indicated, we employ minimally invasive techniques such as arthroscopy, endoscopy, and laparoscopy to reduce postoperative discomfort and speed recovery. Our hospital-wide dedication to the most progressive pain management techniques ensures your pet a comfortable recovery.

Orthopedic and Neurologic Surgery
Each year over 500 patients undergo surgery at our hospital for an orthopedic or neurologic issue. As surgery is often only one aspect of returning to optimal function; our approach to these patients involves not only our surgeons, but our radiologist, rehabilitation services, other staff doctors, and our 24 hour technician staff. We are especially well known for our success at treating patients with cruciate ligament tears, fractures, and intervertebral disc ruptures. We also perform surgery for many other orthopedic problems.

Orthopedic services include:

  • Cruciate Ligament Tear
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Fractures
  • Osteochondrosis Dissicans (OCD) (With arthroscopy available in some cases.)
  • Elbow Dysplasia (Again, with arthroscopy available in some cases.)
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Traumatic Luxation
  • Ununited Anconeal Processes
  • Biceps Tendonitis
  • Tendon Laceration
  • Angular Limb Deformities

Neurologic services include:

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Spinal Fracture

Soft Tissue Surgery
“Soft Tissue” refers to surgery involving structures outside of the skeleton. Each year close to 400 patients undergo surgery at our hospital for many different problems involving the soft tissues. In addition to having a board-certified veterinary surgeon perform the procedure; patients of our hospital benefit from the availability of specialized medications, diagnostic and monitoring equipment, and a staff dedicated to top-notch pain management. We believe our 24 hour technician staff provides care essential for the safety of our patients recovering from surgery and who need careful monitoring and pain management.

The most common soft tissue procedures performed at our hospital are tumor biopsy or removal, gastrointestinal surgery, urinary tract surgery, wound repair, respiratory surgery, and medically indicated ear surgery. In this modern era of veterinary medicine, tools such as ultrasound allow us to detect problems like abdominal tumors at a much earlier stage than in the past. Early removal of such tumors by a skilled surgeon can greatly improve the prognosis of many patients.

Minimally Invasive Surgery (Endoscopy)
Endoscopy is a minimally invasive method which can be used to evaluate many areas of the body. In some cases, an endoscopic procedure may reduce or eliminate the need for a more extensive open surgery. Our endoscopy equipment includes 3 flexible and 3 rigid scopes of various sizes, several cameras, monitor and an extensive array of endoscopic surgical equipment. We are able to use the fiber optic scopes attached to a camera to pass into certain areas of the body. The camera projects a magnified image on a monitor that allows us to visualize structures, identify abnormalities, and in many cases obtain diagnostic samples. Examples include:

  • Esophagoscopy – evaluation of the esophagus
  • Gastroscopy – evaluation of the stomach
  • Duodenoscopy – evaluation of the upper portion of the intestine
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy – evaluation of the esophagus, stomach, and upper portion of the intestine
  • Colonoscopy – evaluation of the colon
  • Cystoscopy – evaluation of the bladder
  • Rhinoscopy – evaluation of the nasal cavity
  • Laparoscopy – evaluation of the abdominal cavity
  • Arthroscopy – evaluation of a joint
  • Otoscopy – evaluation of the ear canal
  • Thoracoscopy – evaluation of the chest cavity

Your doctor will give you the benefits and drawbacks of any endoscopic procedures recommended. All of the above procedures require general anesthesia.

Our doctors perform about 1500 anesthetic procedures each year. This experience, along with an excellent technical staff and the state-of-the-art anesthetic monitoring equipment available at our hospital, minimize the risk associated with anesthetic and surgical procedures. While the risks of anesthesia cannot be eliminated, we do our best to keep you informed of the level of risk as well as to be proactive in detecting and treating problems that may add to this risk. We have a wide array of anesthetic medications available and tailor our anesthetic protocol to each patient’s needs.

Our Surgery Services

Emergency Surgery
Pain Management
Surgery Overview

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