Veterinary Surgical Services

Veterinary SurgeryWhen your pet needs surgery, you can have confidence your veterinarian at Animal Hospital of Ivy Square will work hard to ensure the procedure is completed according to the highest surgical standards and is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Surgery for Your Pet

We understand the decision to allow your pet to undergo surgery is never easy. To that end, your veterinarian will be happy to answer any questions regarding your pet's surgery, as well as provide information on proper postoperative care. It is our goal that you feel comfortable knowing you're making the right choice for your pet.

Laser Surgery

Our surgeons utilize a carbon dioxide surgical laser to reduce bleeding, shorten surgery time, reduce pain, and sometimes perform bloodless surgery. The laser is much more precise as well, leading to reduced swelling and greater comfort for your pet post operatively.

Laser Surgery Benefits for Your Pet

Less Bleeding: As it makes an incision, the laser seals small blood vessels. The result is a significant reduction in bleeding, which enables different surgical procedures to be utilized for optimal results.

Less Pain: The CO2 laser beam seals nerve endings and lymphatics, which results in less edema and pain for your pet. Less pain also means less recovery time for your pet's post-operative healing.

Reduced Risk of Infection: One of the most unique features of the CO2 laser beam is that it efficiently kills bacteria in its path, producing a sterilizing effect.

Quicker Recovery and Healing Time: Reduced risk of infection, less bleeding and pain and less swelling allow you pet to make a quick recovery.

Laser Surgery Benefits for Surgeons

Increased Surgical Capabilities: Laser surgery improves many procedures by simplifying them and reducing risks generally associated with surgery.

Enhanced Visibility of the Surgical Area: The laser light seals capillaries and small blood vessels as it cuts and thereby dramatically reduces bleeding. This provides a much clearer, drier surgical site for the surgeon.

Increased Precision: A laser beam's focal spot may be adjusted down to a small fraction of a millimeter or expanded for wider coverage. The laser power may also be set for rapid removal of large tissue amounts or adjusted to remove only one cell layer at a time.

Laser Surgery for PetsReduction of Surgery Time: The hemostatic effect of the laser beam and the improved visibility of the surgical area reduces the surgery's overall duration.


Laser Surgical Procedures for Your Pet

Our experienced veterinarians perform many types of surgeries, including (but not limited to):

  • Spays and neuters
  • Eye surgery
  • Bladder surgery
  • Tumor removal
  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Stem Cell surgery
  • Cancer surgery
  • Skin surgery
  • Thyroid surgery
  • Cesarean sections
  • Surgical dentistry
  • Laser declaws

We understand the decision to allow your pet to undergo surgery is never easy. To that end, your veterinarian will be happy to answer any questions regarding your pet's surgery, as well as provide information on proper postoperative care. It is our goal that you feel comfortable knowing you're making the right choice for your pet.

Stifle TTA Orthopedic Surgeries and Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture

In canine patients, the ACL is properly called a CCL, or cranial cruciate ligament. The term ACL refers to the same structure, but in humans. If your pet has a CCL rupture, we can help; click here to learn more about the condition and options for treatment.

Safer Anesthesia Customized for Your Pet: Sevoflourane

Ensuring the health and safety of your pet during surgery is our priority and requires an anesthetic and monitoring regimen that adheres to the highest principles and ideals of quality care. We utilize a state-of-the-art monitoring and anesthesia system to ensure your pet's safety and a faster, gentler recovery.

Prior to surgery, your pet will receive a thorough physical examination to identify any medical conditions that might endanger your pet's health. We also recommend pre-anesthetic blood testing. These tests not only give us a more complete picture of your pet's health, but also allow us to tailor an anesthetic regime for your pet.

We offer a variety of local, regional and general anesthetic options tailored to your pet's needs. During surgery, your pet is cared for by a well-trained and experienced veterinary technician using our monitoring system, which tracks blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature and oxygen level.

The following videos depict one of our patients, Lucy, awakening from anesthesia – both immediately following extubation, and roughly three minutes later:


 



Dr. Epstein with Lion CubComprehensive Pain Management

Pain has many detrimental effects on your pet's body. Pain slows healing, decreases activity and causes behavioral changes such as aggression, anxiety and depression.

As part of our commitment to keep your pet comfortable and protect the bond you share, pain management is part of our pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative anesthetic and medical protocols. For surgeries as well as for acute and chronic conditions, we use all our available and safe resources, including local and regional anesthetics, NSAIDs (non-steroidal medications) and analgesics for the complete comfort of your pet.

Healing Postoperative Care

Following surgery, your pet is closely monitored and kept warm and comfortable for by our attentive medical staff. Because of the newest generation of anesthetics and postoperative pain medications, your pet will probably be able to go home the same day. Should your pet need overnight care or hospitalization, we can provide in-house care or refer you to one of the nearby emergency or critical care centers.

When your pet is discharged from the hospital, you will be provided detailed information on how to administer any medication and properly care for your pet after surgery. We are also available to answer any questions or concerns that may arise after you and your pet return home.

Watch a video of some of our post-operative patients!

Stem Cell Surgery

Stem cell surgery uses stem cells from your pet's body to repair and regenerate damaged tissues. Stem cell surgery is most commonly used to treat osteoarthritis in dogs and cats, but clinical research continues to explore other uses for stem cells, including repairing bone, ligament, and spinal cord injuries and treating kidney and liver disease. Dr. Epstein is one of only a few Stem Cell Surgery Certified veterinary practitioners in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area.

How is stem cell surgery performed?

After it has been determined that stem cell treatment is the right choice for your pet, the following steps are taken:

  1. The first involves the collection of fat from your dog or cat. This procedure is typically performed while the patient is under anesthesia. Fat cells are most often taken from a small incision in the groin or shoulder region.

  2. The fat cells are then transferred to a specialized laboratory, where stem cells are obtained and concentrated.

  3. The stem cells are injected into the affected area, such as a hip, elbow or knee joint. This step also generally requires some form of anesthesia for your pet.

Most cases will be performed as an outpatient procedure. Other than rest and supportive measures, minimal special care is required after treatment.

Because the stem cells are from your pet, there is little risk of reaction or rejection. Any injection into a joint or tendon involves some risk of inflammation, infection, or injury. Your veterinarian will discuss your pet's risk factors with you before treatment.

How can I tell if stem cell surgery will help my pet's condition?

The decision to use stem cell surgery is based on your pet's condition, age, breed, previous treatment and response, severity and duration, and anesthesia/sedation risk.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive way to predict which pets will benefit from stem cell surgery. Some patients respond favorably only to relapse in the future. Other patients experience remarkable improvement soon after treatment, while for others, it may take months for any significant changes to occur.

How long does it take to work?

Some patients will show improvement within days, while others will require several weeks before any changes are seen. It is important to note that not all patients treated with stem cells will respond positively. The procedure can be repeated in cases where poor to no improvement is observed.