Help your pet with specialist surgery at SASH
Sometimes pets need surgery that is particularly complex or requires advanced knowledge and specialised equipment. The Surgery team at SASH is highly skilled and experienced in performing these types of operations. With the benefit of in-house facilities equivalent to those in human hospitals, we use our expertise to achieve the best possible outcomes for pets and their families.
It is very important to us that our patients always receive the highest possible standards of care. We constantly review the latest surgical advances, often sharing information with our global network of specialist colleagues, so that our patients and their families can access the options best suited to their needs
About the SASH specialist Surgery team
In the Surgery team at SASH, we are fortunate to have specialist surgeons trained in Australia and around the world, with many decades of combined experience in various types of surgery. These include, but are not limited to:
- Cruciate repair (e.g. TPLO)
- Surgical biopsies
- Tumor removal
- Foreign body removal
- Airway (e.g. BOAS)
- Organ removal (e.g gall bladder, spleen)
- Fracture repair
For all surgeries, the most up to date techniques are used (including key hole surgery where possible) to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.
At SASH, other more specialised surgeries are also performed, albeit by a team of other specialists including Ophthalmologists (eye specialists) and Neurosurgeons (brain surgeons). These include, but are not limited to:
- Eye surgery (eg. removal of cataracts or the entire eye)
- Spinal surgery
- Brain surgery (eg. removal of pituitary)
Our team is highly collaborative, with several surgical specialists often conferring on the best approach for an individual pet. Depending on the needs of the patient, we also work closely with specialists in other departments at SASH, such as Radiology, Neurology and Internal Medicine, to develop the most appropriate management plan. If a pet is diagnosed with cancer, the Animal Cancer Centre work together to make sure families have the information they need to decide on the best treatment option for their pet.
SASH is one of the few veterinary hospitals in Australia to have its own in-house team of specialist anaesthetists. At the time of surgery, our patients are overseen by specialist anaesthetists to ensure that the anaesthetic for each surgical procedure is as safe as possible and is optimised for the needs of each patient. The specialist anesthetists at SASH are also experts in managing pain, employing the full suite of pain control options that we would expect for ourselves or our loved ones in hospital.
Post-operative care is crucial for a speedy and comfortable recovery. At SASH, surgical patients receive 24 hour a day care from expert nurses, with specialist vets in Critical Care and Internal Medicine on hand for patients with complex needs.
Particularly for our orthopaedic and spinal surgery patients, our in-house Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation veterinarians and therapists are available to assist with a faster recovery and help pets return to a high quality of life.
This team-based, integrated approach means that often, up to five different specialists can be overseeing a single surgical patient, to ensure that pets undergoing surgery receive the best possible care to help them go on to lead happy and healthy lives.
While specialist surgery is what we do every day, we understand that it is new for many families and can be a daunting prospect. From the time that a pet is first referred to us at SASH, we do our best to make the families feel as welcome and supported as possible.
At the initial consultation, we assess the patient, taking into account information provided by the referring veterinarian, and talk to families about their concerns and goals for their pet.
Drawing on our extensive experience, we do everything we can to determine the most appropriate surgical plan for each patient, to clarify the risks and benefits of surgery and to explain what surgery and rehabilitation will involve. Our priority is to empower families to make informed decisions on behalf of their treasured companion.
Some patients presented to the SASH Emergency Department require surgery as part of their treatment. We understand that this can be a stressful situation and communicate clearly with families to support them in deciding how best to proceed.
Many patients referred to the Surgery team at SASH will have had some form of diagnostic testing, such as blood tests, X-rays and ultrasound. Depending on the nature of surgery required, it may be necessary to repeat some of these tests (e.g., taking X-rays from additional angles) and/or to conduct more advanced diagnostic imaging such as CT or MRI. For pets diagnosed with cancer, further tests may be required to determine the type and stage of disease, as this is very important for determining the best form of treatment.
Good communication is paramount for the Surgery team at SASH. We understand that families wish to be kept informed and follow their pet’s journey with us. When a pet is admitted for surgery, we provide families with timely updates on their progress, both on the day of surgery and throughout the recovery period.
Referring veterinarians receive an assessment from us after a pet’s initial consultation at SASH. When pets proceed to surgery, we provide their local veterinarian with updates on their progress and a report at the time of discharge.