Surgery is a wide area that includes different specialisms and forms of surgical procedures. The different areas of surgery include bone and joint surgery (orthopaedic surgery), neurosurgery and soft tissue surgery.
Most operations are planned. When the operation is done, there is already a diagnosis, which was made either at a previous visit to the veterinary practice or by a referring veterinary surgeon.
Examinations and operations performed using endoscopes are described as minimally invasive procedures as they are carried out by laparoscopy without completely opening the abdomen, by thoracoscopy of the chest or arthroscopy of the joints. By means of optical instruments, structures in the affected regions can be shown with very little trauma and surgical procedures can be performed locally.
The more complicated surgical procedures include operations on nerve tissue (neurosurgery), the chest (thoracic surgery) and heart surgery. Orthopaedic operations, e.g., for bone fractures, insertion of a new hip joint, cruciate ligament operations, kneecap luxation as well as arthroscopic examinations and complex surgical procedures also form part of veterinary medicine.
The reasons for unplanned operations include conditions involving the womb ( e.g., pyometra), a swallowed foreign body in the digestive tract or windpipe, disorders of bladder emptying, gastric volvulus or certain accidents in animals that require rapid intervention.