VCA Animal Hospitals

Laser Surgery for Dogs

What is a Laser and how does it work?

laser_surgery_and_your_dog-1_2009LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission Radiation. In short, it is a device that generates a beam of light energy at a specific wavelength. The first laser was developed in, and its use in human surgery became widespread in the late 1980's. The most commonly used veterinary surgical laser is the CO2 laser. The wavelength of the CO2 laser beam is absorbed by the water found in skin and other soft tissue, vaporizing the cells and thereby "cutting" the tissues. The surgeon can control the extent to which the laser beam is absorbed into the surrounding tissue, allowing extreme surgical precision.

What are the benefits of laser surgery for my pet?

There are three major advantages of laser surgery when compared to traditional stainless steel surgical scalpels, which are   decreased pain, reduced bleeding and blood loss and reduced risk of infection.

Decreased Post-Operative Pain is accomplished when the laser seals the nerve endings as it cuts. This reduces pain impulses from the surgery site in the immediate post-operative period. Also, the decreased pain involved with laser surgery may allow the surgeon to remove small skin tumors using local anesthesia rather than having the pet undergo general anesthesia.

Reduced Bleeding and Blood Loss is achieved through cauterization of blood vessels as the laser beam vaporizes the tissues.

Reduced Risk of Surgical Infection occurs due to the superheating of the tissues in the incision site, destroying any bacteria that are present at the time of surgery.

What surgeries can be performed with the laser?

Almost any soft-tissue surgery may be performed with the CO2 laser. Routine procedures such as ovariohysterectomy (spay) or castration (neutering) are commonly done with the laser. The CO2 laser is also used for skin tumor removal, eyelid surgery such as correction of entropion or ectropion, and some mouth and throat procedures. Your veterinarian will discuss whether CO2 laser is appropriate for use during your pet's surgery.

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laser, surgery, acronym, ectropion, entropion, ovariohysterectomy

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At VCA Animal Hospitals, our veterinarians take you and your pet's health seriously. With over 600 hospitals and 1,800 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, we strive to give your pet the very best in medical care. We understand your pet is an extension of you, and appreciate the opportunity to share in providing exceptional pet care and quality of life.

* Free initial health exam for new clients only. Not to be combined with any other offer. Not good toward boarding, grooming, prescription and non-prescription medication, and retail items. Not good toward emergency and/or specialty veterinary services. Coupon good for up to two pets (dogs or cats only) per household. Redeemable only at a general practice VCA Animal Hospital. For pet owners who are aged 18 and older.

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We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

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Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.

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