We perform many types of surgeries in both orthopedics and soft tissue. Orthopedic surgeries involve bone and joints, whereas soft tissue surgeries are those that are not associated with bone. Below is a list of some of the surgeries that we perform. Click on the name of any procedure below for a link to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) website, where you can find diagrams and further information about the specific procedures.
An arthrodesis is a surgical fusion of a joint. The bones that form that joint are joined together permanently to prevent any movement, alleviating pain and discomfort. This procedure is often performed for fractures, luxations, and severe arthritis when there aren't other options to save the joint.
A femoral head and neck excision/osteotomy is a surgical procedure where the head and neck of the femur (the "ball" portion of the hip joint) are permanently removed. During the healing process, scar tissue and the remaining soft tissue structures will create a pseudojoint. This procedure may be recommended in cases of severe hip dysplasia, complex fractures involving this part of the femur, or cases where the hip is luxated (dislocated) and replacement is not an option.
A fracture is a break in the bone. Fractures can be classified in several different ways. In an open fracture the skin overlying the bone has been damaged, either by trauma or from where a bone fragment has penetrated through the skin. In a closed fracture, the overlying skin is intact. Fractures can further be described based on the pattern of the break such as linear, tranverse, spiral, oblique, and comminuted. Depending on the location and type of fracture, repair options can vary and may include the use of surgical pins, screws, wires, plates, or exeternal fixation devices. In some cases, splinting may also be an option; however, the use of splints is generally limited to young animals with good alignment of the fracture segments.
A juvenile pubic symphysiodesis is a procedure used to treat or decrease risk of hip dysplasia in young dogs. The procedure must be done at 12-16 weeks of age; with up to 18 weeks of age still having benefit. The need for surgery is based on hip laxity and a PennHip score. The procedure itself involves the fusion of the pubic symphesis growth plate in the pelvis, which will alter the shape of the pelvic bones, allowing for a tighter fit of the ball and socket and a more stable hip joint.
A lateral suture is one method used to correct instability from a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in the knee. The surgery involves placing a nylon suture on the outside of the knee joint along the same plane that the torn ligament was oriented. This approach is extracapsular because it is on the outside of the joint. Its purpose is to stabilize the knee joint allowing organized scar tissue to form.
A mandiblectomy is the surgical removal of part of the lower jaw, typically performed for cancerous and non-cancerous growths, along with some fractures. Dogs and cats usually adjust fairly quickly with this procedure.
The patella is also known as the kneecap. When there is a patellar luxation, the kneecap is dislocated or out of its normal position. The kneecap naturally sits and glides within a groove at the bottom portion of the femur. When there is a medial patellar luxation, the groove of the femur is usually too shallow and/or the attachment site of the patellar tendon is medially located allowing the patella to be pulled toward the inside of the knee. Over time the luxation will cause stretching of the supporting ligaments of the patella. A MPL surgery typically is a combination of deepening the femoral groove, realigning the tendon, and releasing/tightening the supporting ligaments, allowing the patella to track in its normal position.
A tibeal plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) is the most commonly recommended surgery used to stabilize the knee of medium to large breed dogs with a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL)/CCL instability. The surgery biomechanically changes the knee joint, alleviating the need for a CCL and correcting the instability. The top part of the tibia (tibial plateau) is cut, rotated, and stabilized with a bone plate and screws. The angle the tibia is rotated is determined for each pet.
An amputation is the surgical removal of a limb or body part. This can be performed for cancerous growths, soft tissue trauma, or complex fractures. The removed structure can be a leg, toe, or even part of the tail.
Anal glands or anal sacs are located internally near the rectum of dogs, cats, and other various animals. These glands may become inflammed, infected, blocked or develop tumors/masses. An anal sacculectomy will remove the gland(s) with the purpose of removing the mass/tumor or relieving the pet's discomfort associated with the anal gland disease.
A bloat can be a life-threatening emergency situation for a dog. The stomach will become bloated, oftentimes due to gas, food and/or liquid. Gastric Dilitation Volvulus (GDV) is a condition where the stomach essentially becomes twisted or rotated. Much like a balloon pulled tight at both ends, nothing can escape through the attached esophagus or intestine, causing the stomach to continue to expand in size. This also causes the blood supply to the stomach to be disrupted, which can result in damage or even death of the stomach tissue. Signs of a bloat include distended abdomen, hypersalivation, inability to get comfortable, panting and/or continuous retching (vomiting) without any production. Breeds predisposed tend to be the large barrel-chested breeds, however small breeds are not immune. Resolving the distention of the stomach is the first treatment, followed by gastropexy (surgically tacking the stomach to the abdominal wall) to prevent future volvulus, and evaluating all the abdominal organs.
A cystotomy is a procedure where an opening is created in the bladder, genereally with the intention of removing bladder stones. Once the stones are removed, the opening is repaired and the stones are sent for evaluation. A culture is also generally recommended to assess for underlying infection. The stone analysis and culture will help determine the cause of the stones, and will also help to create a plan for monitoring and prevention of future stone development.
A foreign body is any object ingested by a pet which can cause an obstruction (blockage) in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If a blockage occurs, exploratory surgery to assess the abdominal organs and remove the foreign object will be required. In some cases, the GI tissue may be healthy and the object is removed via a simple incision into the stomach (gastrotomy) or intestine (enterotomy). In cases where the object has caused irreversible damage to the GI tissue, the affected area may need to be removed (resected) to allow the healthy ends of the tissue to be reattached (anastomosis).
A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue exits through a weakening in the wall of the muscle or tissue that surrounds it. Most common types are perineal, umbilical, or inguinal. Hernias can be repaired primarily with suture, muscle flaps, or surgical mesh.
A mass excision is the surgical removal of a mass. The mass may be benign or malignant and can be located inside or outside of the body. The mass will be sent off for analysis to obtain a diagnosis, determine prognosis, and to determine if further treatment options are available or recommended.
A perineal urethrostomy is a procedure that is used to treat complicated or recurrent episodes of urinary obstruction (blockage). This condition is generally seen in male cats and is caused by mucus, urinary crystals or small stones blocking the narrow portion of the urethra as it exits the penis. If the cat has recurrent blockage that cannot be managed medically and through diet, it may require a perineal urethrostomy. The surgery creates a larger opening of the urethra by removing the penis and making the wider portion of the urethra accessible. The purpose is to prevent a future blockage. Signs of a blockage are very similar to a urinary tract infection- straining to urinate, vocalization, frequent urination urges, and little to no production, but a veterinary professional is needed to differentiate between the two. Urinary blockage can be life-threatening and an emergency.
A salivary mucocele is a leaking of a damaged salivary gland or salivary duct, which causes saliva to accumulate in the surrounding tissue. The mucocele can be located on the neck, underneath the tongue (ranula), or in the back of the throat region (pharyngeal mucocele). Removal of the saliva from the mucocele will not resolve the issue, therefore the affected salivary gland must be removed. It is important for owners to note which side of the face was initially affected. Removal of the salivary gland doesn't affect the pets ability to produce saliva because they have multiple glands on each side of the face.
A male dog has a scrotal urethrostomy when there is a reoccurring bladder stone blockage of the urethra, or a tumor or trauma affecting the penis. A scrotal urethrostomy is the surgical creation of a wider opening of the urethra. For dogs, this area is between the legs at the area of the scrotum. The urine will be expelled from this new opening.
A splenectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the spleen due to trauma, splenic torsion, disease, such as immune-mediated, or a benign or malignant mass/tumor. The spleen functions to remove old red blood cells, store platelets and white blood cells, and helps the immune system recognize and destroy foreign antibodies and disease. Once a spleen is removed, the pet's liver and lymph nodes will take over those functions. The spleen will be sent off for analysis to obtain a diagnosis, help determine prognosis (expected outcome), and to determine if further treatment options are available or recommended.
Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA)
A TECA is the surgical removal of the entire ear canal and the widening and cleaning out of the bulla due to chronic ear infections or tumors. Chronic infection causes discomfort because of canal inflammation and thickening and increased pressue from the trapped fluid/infected material within the bulla/middle ear.
Some female dogs have excessive skin folds around their vulva. This moist, dark, and warm environment promotes bacterial growth and will make the pet more prone to bladder infection or skin irritation. A vulvoplasty removes the excess skin, preventing urine pooling and the trapping of moisture.