Veterinary Laser Surgical Procedures
Laser surgery is a revolutionary technique that minimizes swelling and bleeding during surgery and results in dramatically reduced pain and discomfort post surgery. It is ideal for soft tissue surgery and cat declaws. Cats that are declawed using laser experience significantly reduced pain and swelling over the older, previous method. Laser declaw will soon become the only standard and accepted technique offering a humane and painless alternative to this otherwise painful surgery. In some states it is now the only approved option.
Dr. Jason Randall has been performing laser surgery since 2004. He is a laser surgery consultant and teaches laser surgical techniques to veterinarians across the United States. He is helping develop and present new laser procedures that are used throughout the veterinary field.
Laser surgical technology is ideally suited for this otherwise potentially painful surgery. Post-operatively, the cats are walking on the surgical sites. Now, with this new technology, most of our patients are running and playing like nothing happened soon afterwards.
General Soft Tissue Surgeries
Spay and neuter surgery can be less stressful and uncomfortable for our patients with the use of the laser. Even though we still use our pain management program (there is still pulling and tugging associated with the procedure), our patients are more pain free and comfortable following their surgery. They bounce back faster.
Lumps and Bumps
Laser assisted removal of growths, moles, warts and surface irregularities can be ablated by laser and often require only local analgesia. Larger growths and tumors are amenable to laser as well and yields less disruption to surrounding tissues and swelling. Laser is especially beneficial in situations near the eye or involving the eye lids because of its accuracy and its ability to result in less scarring.
New techniques incorporating the surgical laser are now available for ear hematoma correction that lead to less distortion to the ear flap following surgery. Older, outdated procedures would often leave the ear hopelessly disfigured or have a high rate of recurrence.
Non-elective Abdominal Surgery
Many types of abdominal procedures can be performed with the surgical laser including biopsies, cystotomies, mastectomies and many others. This will lead to fewer postsurgical complications, less bleeding and a faster recovery.
Breed specific surgeries
Soft palate resection
Many breeds of dogs, such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, and Boxers are prone to an elongation of the soft palate that is best corrected with laser surgery. This abnormality can lead to advanced respiratory disease characterized by noisy, loud breathing, snoring and coughing. Prior to the advent of laser surgery, a great deal of bleeding and post surgical swelling was common, sometimes leading to serious complications. Laser correction of soft palate elongation has dramatically reduced this risk.
Everted laryngeal saccules
This is a common secondary problem to soft palate elongation but can also be a primary problem in some breeds, such as the Norwich Terrier. Laser surgery offers tremendous benefit to the correction of everted saccules- less bleeding and less post operative swelling. This allows these patients to return to normal faster.
Commonly occurring in the Pugs, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzu, and other breeds, this restriction of the nostril openings can cause a lot of distress to affected dogs. During inspiration, the openings can actually collapse. Laser enlargement of the nares (nostril openings) can open the airways and greatly improve the comfort of these patients.
Prolapsed Nictating Membrane
Also called “cherry eye”, this condition is common in Cocker Spaniels. It is obvious when it occurs as it appears that the inner eye lid has everted or rolled out. Utilizing the laser to correct this problem is ideal because of the absence of bleeding or swelling and less tendency for scar tissue.
Boxers are likely to have hyperplasia (over growth) of the gum tissue as they age. The gums become swollen, thickened, inflamed and eventually can engulf the teeth. This can lead to dental decay and abscess formation. Because of pain reduction after laser surgery, these dogs are able to return to normal faster and are usually able to eat a soft diet the evening of surgery.
Although common in many breeds of dogs, this condition is frequently seen in the Shar Pei, Retriever, Dane and hound groups. Entropion is an inner rolling of the eye lids that causes rubbing of the hair or eye lashes on the cornea which is very painful. Laser correction allows for pinpoint accuracy in the proper alignment of the lid relative to the eye. It also results in minimal scarring. It is so successful in that regard that it is usually difficult to tell that it was done.