Veterinary Medicine Taken to the Next Level At Our Hospital – Less Invasive Diagnostics and Treatments
At the Animal Surgical Center of Michigan we use the latest in veterinary technology to diagnose and treat your pet. By utilizing the latest in technology we can diagnose and treat your pet with less invasive techniques. More information is available below on the technologies we utilize.
High Definition Digital Thermography
Digital thermography is a diagnostic test that provides a surface scan of the patient and shows emitted radiated energy. Thus, the hotter the area, the greater the emission of radiated energy. Areas on the body that are inflamed will show as hot spots. This is particularly useful to localize the causative area of a pet’s lameness. Forelimb lamenesses in particular can be very difficulty to sort out in our canine friends. With digital thermography, the guess work is taken out of the picture. The scan of this dog shows increased emitted radiated energy from the elbow joint; she had a fractured coronoid process within the elbow joint. Red and white colors are areas of most intense inflammation.
Our hospital is equipped with the latest in technology, which allows our doctors to conduct tests that are needed to diagnose your pet’s condition. CT scan is a diagnostic that allows us to thoroughly evaluate your pet’s condition by imaging the bones and internal soft tissue structures of the body. This test produces cross-sectional images of the inside of your pet’s body which are then studied for abnormalities. Using advanced computer technology, data obtained from a CT scan can be used to reconstruct the patient’s anatomy so that a 3D model can be processed (see image to the right of a dog that has multiple fractures of the bones of both hind limbs). If needed, a 3D printer can be used to make a model of the structure so that the surgery can be planned out and practiced prior to the actual surgery. Patients that benefit from CT scan include those that have tumors, undiagnosed internal organ issues, nasal discharge, lameness, vomiting, and urinary issues to name a few. Because of the speed of our CT machine, the CT scan is commonly completed and a diagnosis provided during your pet’s initial visit.
Magnetic resonance imaging is a very useful diagnostic modality used to diagnose musculoskeletal conditions, cancer, and neurological conditions. Planning of a surgery can be more accurately made with MRI. In or practice we most commonly use this modality for orthopedic and cancer patients. The image here shows a torn Achilles tendon. MRI is now available on site at our hospital.
Digital ultrasound provides great insight into internal organs of the abdomen and does not require anesthesia. Second, we commonly use ultrasound to diagnose tears of ligaments and tendons that support joints. Third, ultrasound of the neck is used to find suspected masses (thyroid, parathyroid, or enlarged lymph nodes). Third, ultrasound-guided biopsies of tumors allows us to target areas of the tumor that are more likely to provide a diagnostic tissue sample, thus provide a correct diagnosis of the pet’s condition.
Flexible endoscopy is used in our hospital allows us to look into the esophagus, stomach and intestines; during this procedure a flexible tube that has a small camera on its end is passed into the gastrointestinal tract either via the mouth or the rectum. This is a noninvasive method of examining the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract and can be used to look for tumors and to remove ingested foreign bodies. Furthermore, flexible endoscopy is used to obtain small biopsy samples of the gastrointestinal tract to diagnose infiltrative bowel disease such as inflammatory bowel disease. We also perform flexible endoscopy of the urinary tract in dogs. Flexible bronchoscopy is also available for patients with chronic respiratory disease.
Arthroscopy is the use of a slender rigid camera (1.9 mm or 2.7 mm) that is used to look inside of a joint. With this type of technology, only two small incisions are made, resulting in less pain for your pet. In addition, the camera provides a very magnified image of the joint and its structures, thereby allowing the surgeon to more accurately diagnose and treat the condition. The image to the right is a fractured bone piece within a joint (called a fragmented coronoid process).
Laparoscopy is the examination of the abdominal organs with a camera on a rigid scope. A variety of surgical procedures can be done with this technology. Commonly, in our practice, laparoscopic liver biopsies, stomach tacking, spaying and removal of undescended testicles is performed with this minimally invasive surgery. The photo to the right shows an abdominal testicle that is being removed.
Video- Assisted Thoroscopic (VAT) Surgery
Video-Assisted Thoroscopic(VAT) Surgery is a state-of-the-art surgery that allows the surgeon to operate within the chest cavity via very small incisions. This procedure allows the surgeon to remove masses from the lung, biopsy masses within the chest, biopsy lymph nodes and other structures within the chest, remove foreign bodies from the chest cavity, and treat collapsing lungs (due to spontaneous pneumothorax). The benefit of this type of surgery is that the patient is much less painful after the procedure, as the ribs are not spread apart during the procedure.
Stem Cell Therapy/Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Stem Cell Therapy/Platelet-Rich Plasma(PRP) Therapy is another cutting edge technology used at the Animal Surgical Center of Michigan. These magic elixirs of healing are very useful for patients that have joint, ligament and tendon injuries. Both stem cells and PRP is collected from the patient which eliminates the risk of cross patient infections and maximizes the viability of the stem cells. Stem cells transform into tissue that is damages (cartilage, bone, ligament/tendon tissues). PRP contains abundant growth factors that turn stem cells on to heal tissues. As a result, we commonly combine these treatments when treating various conditions. When treating ligament and tendon conditions, ultrasound-guided injection of stem-cells/PRP is used to insure that the treatment is administered right where it is needed.
Minimally Invasive Osteosynthesis
Minimally Invasive Osteosynhthesis is a minimally invasive method of fracture repair that is performed at our hospital to minimize surgical pain and maximize healing. Two small incisions are used to perform the procedure called minimally invasive osteosynthesis (MIO). A button-hole incision is made at the top and bottom ends of the fractured bone. A stainless steel surgical plate, that is almost the length of the bone, is slid under the skin and over the bone. Four to six screws are used to secure the bone plate to the ends of the bone. Because MIO mandates that no surgical incision is made directly into the fracture site, there is minimal disruption of the initial blood clot that is surrounds the fracture. Thus, the important healing substances (growth factors) at the fracture site are preserved. MIO also may be performed with an interlocking nail. Implant removal only requires two button hole incisions to remove the implants, thus the procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis.