General Surgery


General surgery encompasses a wide array of body systems, including diseases in the abdomen (belly), thorax (chest), EENT (eyes, ears, nose, & throat), endocrine organs (hormone system), skin and many more. General surgery typically also includes treatment of various tumors and cancers. The following is a brief list of some of the more common procedures performed at VSC.

  • Total Ear Canal Ablation / Bulla Osteotomy (TECA/BO)
  • Ventral Bulla Osteotomy
  • Lateral Ear Canal Resection
  • Nasopharyngeal Polyp
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA)
  • Lung Lobectomy
  • Laryngeal Tieback
  • Soft Palate / Alar Fold / Everted Saccule Resections (Brachycephalic Syndrome)
  • Diaphragmatic Herniorrhaphy
  • Salivary Mucocele
  • Maxillectomy/Mandibulectomy
  • Portosystemic Shunt Attenuation
  • Liver Lobectomy
  • Biliary Diversion
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Hernia Repair
  • Splenectomy
  • Enterotomy
  • Resection / Anastomosis
  • Subtotal Colectomy for Feline Megacolon
  • Gastropexy for Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV)
  • Exploratory Laparotomy / Surgical Biopsy
  • Ectopic Ureter Repair
  • Urolithiasis (Kidney, Ureter, Bladder and Urethral Stones)
  • Anal Sacculectomy
  • Perineal Herniorrhaphy
  • Skin Reconstruction/Skin Grafting
  • Burn Injuries
  • Traumatic Injuries (dog fights, gunshots)
  • Vulvoplasty
  • Screw Tail / Caudectomy
Total Ear Canal Ablation / Bulla Osteotomy (TECA/BO)

A procedure to treat end-stage ear disease by removing the ear canal and inner lining of the bulla of the ear. Although their hearing may decrease, these patients can still hear noises and respond.

Ventral Bulla Osteotomy

A procedure to treat a variety of middle diseases, most often in cats, by making a small portion of the skull to gain access to the middle ear. The patient will have a normal cosmetic appearance after surgery.

Lateral Ear Canal Resection

A procedure to treat end-stage ear disease by removing part of the ear canal (this procedure is now rarely performed and a Total Ear Canal Ablation is performed instead).

Nasopharyngeal Polyp

A growth found in the inner ear, back of the throat or both that is treated with removal of the growth from the throat combined with a ventral bulla osteotomy.

Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA)

A PDA is a communication between the large vessels leaving the heart that typically closes at birth. When it remains open it can cause damage to the heart. During the surgery, the abnormal vessel is tied off and the blood starts flowing in the correct direction.

Lung Lobectomy

The lungs are made up of several lobes on the left and right side of the heart. Many diseases can affect one or more lobes and requires removal of part or an entire lobe. During surgery, we remove the affected lobe to diagnose or treat the condition and the patient is still able to live with the remaining lobes.

Laryngeal Tieback

When animals, most often dogs, develop problems with the nerve supply of the larynx (voice box) it can make breathing noisy and difficult, leading to overheating. A tie-back surgery is performed to make a larger pathway for air to enter the lungs.

Soft Palate / Alar Fold / Everted Saccule Resections (Brachycephalic Syndrome)

Brachycephalic breeds are short-nosed breeds that develop difficulty breathing due to a small nasal and throat airway. These conditions can worsen over time and lead to additional diseases of the larynx, lungs, heart, stomach and esophagus. The procedures performed create a larger airway that can extend the patient’s life and prevent death from asphyxiation (suffocation).

Diaphragmatic Herniorrhaphy

The diaphragm is a muscular wall that separates the abdomen and the chest. Patients can be born with an abnormal diaphragm or can develop a tear after significant trauma. This allows the abdominal organs to crowd the lungs within the chest. During surgery, we close the hole in the diaphragm and put abdominal organs back into the appropriate locations.

Salivary Mucocele

The salivary glands are a set of glands throughout the mouth, head, and neck that produce saliva for digestion. If the saliva leaks from the gland due to trauma or blockage of the duct, the local tissue becomes swollen and inflamed. The affected gland(s) must then be removed, but the patient can produce more than enough saliva after surgery.


Tumors of the mouth on the upper or lower jaw can require removal of the teeth and bone to remove the cancer. These procedures are often coupled with radiation or chemotherapy. Depending on the location, various amounts of bone must be removed and the patient’s cosmetic appearance can be altered.

Portosystemic Shunt Attenuation

During development, certain blood vessels are present to divert maternal placental blood to vital organs. When the animal is born the vessels should naturally close. When they fail to close, blood from the intestines with nutrients is diverted away (i.e. shunted) from the liver for processing. During surgery a device the slowly that closes on itself is placed around the shunt vessel to pinch it off gradually.

Liver Lobectomy

The liver is composed of multiple lobes. Many diseases can affect the whole liver or individual lobes. If a single lobe is affected, we can often remove the affected lobe and the remaining liver lobes pick-up the extra work.

Biliary Diversion

The biliary system is a series of channels that divert bile, a substance made by the body to process fats and vitamins, from the liver to the intestines for excretion or to the gall bladder for storage. Some dogs and develop problems with the biliary tree that requires re-routing of the bile. The surgery can carry a high amount of risk and the patients are typically hospitalized for several days for recovery


The gall bladder is part of the biliary system that stores bile, a substance made by the body to process fats and vitamins. When there are problems with the gall bladder it may need to be removed. The surgery can carry a high amount of risk if it is not performed promptly and the patients are typically hospitalized for several days for recovery

Hernia Repair

A hernia is an abnormal opening that allows an organ(s)to escape their normal location and protrude into an area it should not be located. This causes a swelling and can affect how the trapped organ works. During the repair the hole is closed but occasionally additional artificial material may be needed to close the opening.


The spleen is a large abdominal organ that filters the blood. Several conditions (e.g. trauma, cancer, etc…) can cause life-threatening hemorrhage from the spleen. The spleen is removed through a large incision in the abdomen and the patient typically must stay for several days for monitoring.


This is a procedure to create an opening in the intestines for the purpose of removing a foreign body or obtaining a biopsy. The surgery is typically done with an incision in the abdomen but in some cases can be done with through key hole incisions.

Resection / Anastomosis

When a section of the intestines is diseased or punctured, that section can be removed and the two free ends can be sutured together and heal. This procedure is performed through a large incision in the belly and, depending on several factors, can have significant risks and chance of complications. The procedure is performed with precision to allow the best conditions for healing.

Subtotal Colectomy for Feline Megacolon

Adult cats can develop abnormalities with their large intestine in which the intestines are unable to propel their contents. As the water is removed from the material, very large and firm fecal material begins to get lodged causing obstipation (prolonged constipation). When medical management fails, a surgery can be performed which removes the colon. Although the stool is softer the patients can have a good quality of life after the procedure.

Gastropexy for Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV)

Certain dog breeds are predisposed to a condition in which the stomach distends with gas and fluid and twists on itself, trapping the contents. As the stomach expands (sometimes to the size of a volleyball, it compromises blood flow and sends the animal into shock. Surgery is necessary to untwist the stomach, inspect the tissue for damage and create a permanent attachment of the organ to the body wall to prevent future twisting.

Exploratory Laparotomy / Surgical Biopsy

This is a procedure to inspect the organs of the abdomen and obtain biopsies or remove diseased organs or parts of organs. The patient will stay anywhere from 2 to 5 days after surgery depending on the underlying condition (or longer if necessary).

Ectopic Ureter Repair

When animals develop, the kidneys move towards the head and the ureters (the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder) move their locations. In some cases, the ureters fail to develop in the normal location. This can result in urinary incontinence. The surgery is designed to replace the ureters in a normal position.

Urolithiasis (Kidney, Ureter, Bladder and Urethral Stones)

Dogs and cats can develop mineral concretions in a variety of locations (bladder, ureters, urethra). These obstruct the flow of the urine and as the pressure builds the kidneys become damaged and the patient can be sent in to shock. Some of these stones can be removed via a keyhole surgery.

Anal Sacculectomy

The anal sacs are 2 small glands at the 4 and 8 o’clock position of the anus that contain material to help animals identify themselves. Some dogs can develop problems with emptying their glands or can develop cancer in the glands. The glands need to be excised and submitted for analysis. The surgeries are performed as sterilely as possible but due to the location of the surgery infections can occur.

Perineal Herniorrhaphy

Older dogs and cats can weak muscles near the anus and tail as they age. As they strain to defecate, the muscles separate and allow abdominal contents to bulge into the space creating a hernia. Certain risk factors increase the occurrence of this disease (i.e. older male intact dogs, cats with megacolon)

Skin Reconstruction/Skin Grafting

There are a variety of reasons for a reconstructive skin surgery, most often it is when large tumors grow and require a wide resection to remove all the cancer. There are a variety of techniques we use to close these larger incisions.

Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are very severe injuries that can have systemic effects when extensive burns occur. Treatment includes supportive care, controlling pain, providing fluids and nutrition and ultimately surgical treatment of the damaged tissue.

Traumatic Injuries (dog fights, gunshots)

Due to the high chance of infection and extensive tissue damage from powerful dog jaws or firearms, surgical treatment is typically needed to remove damaged tissue. These cases often require knowledge of infection risks and tissue healing. When there is a delay in treatment the damage can be even more extensive.


In female patients spayed at a young age and overweight female patients, the vulva can be come partially covered by a fold of skin. This traps urine and results in infection that can spread up the urinary tract. The surgery is designed to lift the fold of tissue around the vulva and expose the area to the air. These surgeries are well tolerated by the patient.

Screw Tail / Caudectomy

Certain dog breeds (e.g. pugs and English bulldogs) can develop a curling of the tail that traps moisture under folds of skin. This causes pain and irritation and can make the patient irritable. In surgery the tail is removed and the skin closed to make a flat surface with no folds. The recovery is very fast and minimally painful.

8033 Cooper Creek Boulevard,
        #101, University Park,
        Florida 34201


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