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Laser surgery – Gatsby’s story

By February 5, 2024 Greenbay Vet News

This year we are excited to bring new technology to our Torquay surgery for the benefit of our patients – laser surgery. Although more common in the USA, we are one of only a handful of veterinary practices in the UK to have invested in this technology.

Unlike a traditional scalpel, the laser vaporises (rather than cuts) tissue cleanly and precisely, and seals blood vessels at the same time. The laser can be used for things like Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) surgery, and removal of masses such as eyelid growths. Benefits for the patient include less pain and bleeding, and a quicker recovery.

One of the first patients to benefit was Gatsby, who belongs to one of our Veterinary Nurses. Gatsby had a small eyelid tumour, which although benign was irritating and rubbing the surface of his eye.

These types of eyelid tumours are common in older dogs, and can be painful and irritating due to their location. Traditionally they are removed using a scalpel to remove a wedge of skin, including the growth, with the wound then being closed with dissolvable sutures. While often very successful, laser surgery makes this operation significantly quicker and less painful for the patient. The laser simply vaporises the tumour, and seals any blood vessels, to leave a small scar – check out the photos below…

The eyelid tumour before surgery, Gatsby’s eye is underneath the swab

Vet John using the laser the remove the tumour. The large plastic device is used to evacuate the smoke from the laser.

Gatsby’s eye after the operation, you can just see a small scar where the tumour was


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