South Devon Referrals offer a range of minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical services, including:
- Laparoscopic and Thoracoscopic minimally invasive surgery (including: ovariectomy/ovariohysterectomy; Cryptorchid castration; gastropexy; exploratory laproscopy/thoracoscopy and biopsy). This is also commonly known as “keyhole surgery”.
- Flexible videoendoscopy of upper and lower gastrointestinal tract and upper respiratory tract
- Rigid endoscopy of nose, outer and middle ear, urinary tract and vagina
We are also able to provide a secondary referral service for surgical cases both soft tissue and orthopedics and are happy to discuss cases and provide advice to referring practices.
Referrals are seen by John Harvey who is an RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Surgery and holds a PgC and the European (ESVPS) Certificate in Small Animal Surgery and the European (ESVPS) Certificate in Endoscopy and Endosurgery.
We have heavily invested in new equipment to allow us to offer these services including medical grade video endoscopes/ rigid endoscopes and high definition cameras and image capture systems. By having a wide range of sizes of scopes and instruments, we are able to help with cases that may be outside the size range of many endoscopes e.g. GI/respiratory tract scoping in cats, laparoscopy in cats and small dogs, gastroscopy/jejunoscopy in giant breed dogs, lap assisted cystoscopy in male dogs/cats.
One of the most commonly performed laparoscopic procedures is neutering of female dogs – also called a “keyhole spay”.
Our focus in planning all surgical and diagnostic procedures is to use the most minimally invasive approach possible. We are also happy to be able to offer a secondary surgical referral service for procedures that cannot be carried out by endosurgery. Even in these cases we work to be as minimally traumatic as possible, for example:
- For short nosed dogs (e.g. pugs, french bulldogs, bulldogs) that suffer from Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Disease (BOAS), our minimally invasive approach has many benefits. Our endoscopes allow us to properly assess the airways and gastrointestinal tract (many of these dogs will have inflamed oesophagus or stomach) if required before surgery. Our ultrasonic scalpel allows us to carry out the surgery with no bleeding at all into the airway – bleeding into the airway poses a risk of serious complications when the surgery is carried out without such advanced technology.
- For dogs or cats with ear disease, that may be referred for Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA), we are able to fully assess the ears before surgery using both CT and otoendoscopy. In many cases we may be able to identify a cause for the ear disease that may then avoid the need for major surgery. Where this is not the case, we can better plan the surgery using this information.
- For dogs and cats referred with stones in their urine, that may be causing them trouble urinating (Urolithiasis), in most cases we will be able to remove the stones either with no incisions at all (in many female dogs and cats), or through small keyhole incisions. The pets recover much quicker than when open bladder surgery is used.