As dogs and cats are living longer, and with advances in diagnostic imaging and therapy, the demand for oncological surgery has increased over recent years. Our clients are increasingly interested in pursuing invasive techniques to improve the quality of life and the life expectancy of their pets.
Oncological surgery is performed by the Soft Tissue Surgery Team. We have a lot of experience in many types of oncologic surgery, including skin and sub-dermal masses, facial masses and reconstruction (mandibulectomy/maxillectomy) as well as internal organ resection (lung and liver lobectomy, adrenalectomy etc.). We see many cases of low and intermediate grade mast cell tumours and soft tissue sarcomas, which often require excision with a margin of healthy tissue. These cases often benefit from axial pattern skin flaps and other advanced skin closure techniques including free grafts.
We are happy to accept referrals for a wide variety of tumours that would be amenable to surgery. It doesn’t matter whether they have a diagnosis or not. We will assess the animal and liaise with our Oncology Service as needed for those cases that are not surgical. We are also available to discuss cases prior to referral. Photos of masses do help to give the most appropriate advice.
Following consultation with the client, we typically admit the animal for full staging if this has not already been done. This may involve FNA of local lymph nodes, ultrasound of the abdomen, radiographs or computed tomography (CT). Most animals will have a CT scan to
allow the most complete staging. Following staging we will discuss all of the findings with the owner prior to organising a treatment plan. Surgery is typically performed the day after staging.
Once a mass is removed, we submit this for histopathology. We will update you on the results once they are available and discuss the results with the client. If further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy is indicated, we will arrange an appointment with our Specialist Oncologist Dr Rodney Ayl. We will keep you up to date with the results and the on-going plan.
To assist in surgical management, we have two dedicated Soft Tissue theatres, each with ventilator and an array of monitoring equipment. We have the availability to use advanced bipolar, harmonic scalpels and diode laser when these are indicated, resulting in reduced/minimal haemorrhage and therefore decreased patient morbidity. Our Specialist Anaesthetist, Elizabeth Leece will tailor a suitable perioperative analgesia plan which will include local analgesia when possible.