Minimally Invasive Veterinary Surgery, Yeager the chocolate Lab

– [Voiceover] Yeager is a
seven-year-old male castrated Labrador Retriever
that presented to the Minimally Invasive
service at the University of Pennsylvania
Veterinary School for a chronic recurrent
effusion around his heart. The pericardium is a sac
surrounding the heart. Between this sac and the
heart, there’s usually a small amount of fluid
which helps lubricate the movement of the heart. When the normal amount of
fluid between the heart and its sac increases,
this pericardial effusion will cause the patient
to show clinical signs. Yeager had an abnormal
large amount of this fluid, which means that we had to
go in, minimallly invasively and remove this sac so that
the fluid wouldn’t build up. Minimally invasive
surgery is obviously very well-known in human medicine, but now we’re able to do the
same techniques in animals. Typically, surgery’s performed
with large open incisions. We’re able to perform
these same procedures with many small
incisions, sometimes a
fraction of the size. For the operative
procedure, what we try to do is ensure that we have
adequate visualization and access to the heart itself. Typically, we put
dogs on their back, and we put small ports around
their breastbone or sternum. These ports enable
me to put cameras and miniaturized instruments
into his chest cavity, and allows me to not
only see his lungs and heart, but
manipulative the tissue, like cutting into
the pericardial sac and sucking out the fluid. The benefits of minimally
invasive surgery are less pain, faster recovery, a shorter hospital stay, and
faster return to function. This is more
attractive for owners, because their pets
can go home faster and take less pain
medications after a procedure. Veterinary minimally invasive
surgery is very unique. There are few hospitals
in the country that can actually perform
these techniques. One of the special
features of Penn is that we have incredible support
from many of our pet owners as well as friends
from the University that allow us to have
equipment and an op room just like this. We were very happy with
the outcome of the surgery. There were no complications
during anesthesia or during the operative
procedure itself. We were able to
visualize the heart, take adequate
samples for a biopsy, and remove the pericardial
effusion as well as the constriction that the
heart sac was causing. Overall, Yeager
recovered wonderfully. He was up walking around
a few hours after surgery, and was able to go
home the next day.

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