At Shires Vets we are able to offer your pet a wide range of soft tissue operations. Soft tissue surgery comprises of operations on skin, muscle, blood vessels and the contents of the abdominal and thoracic cavities (basically everything that isn't bone). These operations are performed on a daily basis at both the Stone and Eaton Park practices, where modern purpose built operating theatres help to ensure we can deliver the best in pet surgery.
Often our patients will need some pre-operative tests to help us get a diagnosis. We are equipped with state of the art digital radiography, ultrasonography, endoscopy and in house blood machines. This equipment helps us to rapidly diagnose and ultimately help your pets health.
If your pet has developed a lump or bump we will often take a small sample of tissue during your consultation (called a fine needle aspirate (FNA)) which may allow a pathologist to diagnose what tissue the lump is comprised of. Tissue biopsies under general anaesthetic are sometimes more reliable as a larger piece of tissue is harvested however this is a little more invasive and costly than a FNA. You may find it strange that we do not suggest removing growths as early as possible but instead recommend the above diagnostic steps. This sampling allows a much more informed decision to be made and helps us plan the surgery. In some cases it may confirm that no operation needs to be performed at all therefore saving money, trauma and risk to your pet.
The experienced team of vets and nurses at Shires Vets frequently perform soft tissue operations such as pet neutering, tumour removal or foreign body removal from animals stomachs or intestines (stones and corn-on-the-cobs seem to be common amongst some dogs). More complicated procedures such as kidney removal, patent ductus arteriosis ligation and skin grafting have been successfully performed in house. When your pet requires specialist soft tissue surgery we are pleased to have well established links to local referral centres where this can be carried out.
Recently we have invested in the equipment to perform laparoscopic or "keyhole" surgery. Bitch spays are the most common operation carried out with this kit but organ biopsy, exploratory surgery and bladder surgery can all be performed with less invasion to the animals health.
When undertaking soft tissue surgery we adhere to Halsted's ("the father of safe surgery") principles to ensure a rapid and comfortable recovery for your beloved pet. These are; handle tissues gently, control bleeding carefully, preserve blood supply, observe strict asepsis, minimise tissue tension, appose tissues accurately and eliminate dead space. Post-operative problems such as incision infections are rare if discharge instructions are closely observed. Restricted exercise is important as is preventing your animal from licking any operation sites. Elizabethan collars are often dispensed to prevent this but we still like to examine your pet several days after their operation to ensure everything is healing as planned.
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