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Important Information about Surgery at our Hospital

December 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Surgery

It is important for you to know that not all veterinary hospitals approach surgery in the same way.  Advancements in veterinary medicine have allowed surgical procedures to be much safer than ever before.  You can rest assured that your pet will be provided the highest quality of care including pre-anesthetic testing (blood work), advanced monitoring from nurses, pain management, body temperature control, and the safest gas anesthesia.

When your pet is admitted to our hospital for surgery, several steps are taken before the actual surgery.  First, your pet’s attending doctor will do an examination to determine if there are any current issues that would prevent us from proceeding with surgery.  We normally will have run a blood panel prior to the day of the procedure.  If not, we will draw blood to run the panel in our lab on the morning of the procedure.  This important step tells us if the liver, kidneys, blood count, etc., are within normal limits.  If all is well, a nurse will administer pre-medications to reduce pain, calm your pet and reduce the amount of anesthesia needed.  Later, a short acting drug is given to allow your pet to fall asleep.  At that point, a breathing (tracheal) tube will be placed and a gas anesthesia/oxygen mix will be administered directly into the lungs. Isoflurane gas anesthesia is also used in human hospitals and is one of the safest on the market. Monitors will be attached to your pet showing heart rate, blood pressure, carbon dioxide exhaled and oxygen saturation.  Anesthesia can be adjusted accordingly, and the monitors also indicate if the pet is having any difficulties during the procedure before serious problems occur.

Our surgeries are performed in a sterile surgery suite with the doctors and nurses masked and gowned, and your pet’s surgery site is prepped and scrubbed.  Your pet is constantly monitored by an attending nurse during the procedure and when the surgery is complete, the gas anesthesia is turned off and only oxygen is administered.  Because the gas anesthetic is delivered directly to the lungs and exhaled rapidly, your pet will wake up fairly quickly with a nurse present.  At that point the breathing tube is removed, and the pet will be breathing on its own. Heating pads, warm air blankets and, in some cases, incubators are used to keep your pet warm and comfortable during and after the surgery.

Your pet continues to be monitored by our trained staff during the recovery period, and your pet can usually be released later the same day!  Owners are often amazed that their pet walks out to greet them on their own with little indication that they have been under general anesthesia. Your pet will even be sent home with a pain medication to maintain comfort levels at home!

Be assured that the health of your pet is our highest concern and we will do everything possible to maintain that health.

We are proud to be accredited by The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and only 17% of the small animal practices throughout the United States can claim this distinction.

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