Soft tissue surgery includes surgeries not associated with bone. Probably the most common soft tissue surgery performed at our clinic is the removal of masses or ‘lumps’ on animals. Many of these masses or ‘lumps’, once removed and tested, are benign (non-harmful); however, occasionally they are more serious. Early removal and accurate diagnosis of a ‘lump’ is necessary to improve the outcome in your pet if the mass is cancerous. In some cases, we may choose to perform a surgical biopsy to diagnose a lump prior to removal in order to know how aggressive we need to be with our surgical removal. Lacerations or cuts are also common in pets and suturing these injuries will reduce the chance of infection, improve healing time and reduce scarring.
Occasionally, our pets can develop bladder stones that cause irritation and, in some cases, urinary obstruction. These stones can be removed directly from the bladder in a procedure called a cystotomy. Speaking of removing things, some critters like to eat things that they shouldn’t (socks, underwear, thread etc…). In some cases, a surgical exploration of the abdomen in required and it is sometimes necessary to remove these items, either from the stomach (“gastrotomy”), or the intestines (“enterotomy”). During other “exploratory” procedures, we need to collect biopsy samples of various organs as a diagnostic tool in patients that are ill.
Certain conditions of the eye also require surgical intervention. A damaged cornea (outer layer of the eye) may require surgery to allow the cornea to heal faster with less scarring. Less scarring will improve the ability of your pet to see. Lumps on the eyelid require special techniques to remove them in a cosmetic way. In addition, we occasionally need to perform surgery on the eyelids to improve their conformation, prevent damage to the cornea, and improve tear drainage.
The above descriptions outline just a few areas in which surgery may be necessary. There are obviously many other surgical procedures that may be performed here or elsewhere, by veterinary surgeons. If your are concerned about the health of your pet and believe it may have a condition necessitating surgery, please contact us with your questions.