Surgery

Our Doctors

Surgery
  • Dr. Griffin graduated from the University College Dublin, Ireland in 1995. He did an internship at the Royal Veterinary College, London in 1996 and an internship at The University of Pennsylvania in 1997. He completed his surgical residency at Penn in 2000. Dr. Griffin passed his ACVS board certification examination in 2001. He was a lecturer in surgery at Penn before joining the staff of the Regional Veterinary Referral Center in 2001. Dr. Griffin is the author of several scientific and review papers and textbook chapters. He lectures regionally on topics related to surgery and surgical oncology. He is especially interested in surgical oncology, minimally invasive surgery, joint replacement and orthopedic surgery.

  • Dr. Anderson graduated from the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. As a student she received an award from ACVS for proficiency in surgery and was president of SCAVMA. She then completed an internship in large animal surgery at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. In 2002, she completed an internship in small animal surgery at Veterinary Specialists of Rochester. Dr. Anderson completed her residency in small animal surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. In early 2006, she passed her ACVS board certification examination. She has authored several journal articles, the most recent of which deals with prognostic factors for successful outcomes for patients with urethral rupture.

    Dr. Anderson became certified in Veterinary Medical Acupuncture in 2014 and since then has treated numerous patients for both musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions. She finds that acupuncture can be a very good addition to traditional medicine in improving the quality of life for many animals where traditional medicine may not be sufficient.

Surgery

In the surgery department at The Regional Veterinary Referral Center, we believe in providing care of the highest standard for our surgical patients. It is also important that the pet owners are well-informed and comfortable with the treatment and decisions regarding the surgical procedure their pet may require.

All the staff members in our hospital are caring and compassionate, making the stay in the hospital as comfortable as possible for both your pet and you. During the initial consultation, your pet will be examined by one of our board certified surgeons. The examination will be followed by a discussion about your pet’s problem and the surgical treatment; this will allow us to make a decision together as to what is best for your pet.

  • Our goals are to:

    • Support the veterinarians in the Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland area through a team approach to referral surgery including pre and post operative care.
    • To provide state-of-the-art surgical care for all our patients.
    • To serve as a referral center for the treatment of cancer in pets. To this end, we work as a team with our medical and radiation oncologist to plan the best available combination of treatments for our patients.
  • The initial consultation usually lasts about 30 minutes, but additional time may be needed if X-rays or other diagnostic tests are required to aid in our decision making or surgical planning.

    Surgery, if indicated, is usually performed the same day. Expected costs, risks, possible complications and prognosis will be discussed with you prior to surgery. After surgery, you will be contacted by the surgeon to discuss the surgical findings and how your pet is recovering from the procedure.

    At discharge from the hospital, both you and your referring veterinarian will receive a copy of the discharge instructions and referral letter. Your veterinarian will also be mailed digital photos of the surgical procedure for their records.

    • Fracture repairs, using plating, pinning and external skeletal fixation.
    • Cranial cruciate ligament repair, extra-capsular techniques, tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) and tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA).
    • Total hip replacement.
    • Arthroscopic joint surgery.
    • Other orthopedic procedures.
    • Neurosurgery for intervertebral disc disease.
    • Laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgery.
    • Thoracic surgery.
    • Gastrointestinal surgery.
    • Hernia repairs.
    • Urinary tract surgery.
    • Upper respiratory tract surgery.
  • Here at the surgery department at The Regional Veterinary Referral Center we have a sub-specialization in surgical oncology. Dr. Griffin has a special interest and extensive experience in surgical oncology.

    Cancer in pets traditionally evokes thoughts of a terminal untreatable disease.  However advances in veterinary surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy allow excellent care and hope for pets with cancer.  Through our team approach to cancer treatment we can achieve a cure in many patients and marked improvement in quality and quantity of life in most others.  Early detection and aggressive therapy is the key.  At the Regional Veterinary Referral Center we can achieve “clean margins” (complete removal of the tumor, including microscopic portions), and subsequently cure the local disease in 95% of our surgical patients.

    • Pre-surgical biopsy to determine the prognosis and the surgical dose required for cure.
    • Complete staging of the patient using radiography, lymph node biopsy and other imaging. We have a CT scan in house which helps us to better determine the extent of local disease.
    • Aggressive surgery using the appropriate dose. Dr. Griffin and Dr. Anderson’s experience in surgical oncology allow a cure of local disease in many patients without being overly aggressive, thereby reducing post-operative complications.
    • Marking and assessing surgical margins. This is the best predictor of local recurrence of the tumor and helps determine if radiation therapy or further surgery is needed. We achieve clean surgical margins in 95% of patients on which we operate.
    • Radiation therapy or repeat surgery if margins are incomplete. We have a linear accelerator at our hospital for performing radiation therapy with minimal side effects.
    • Chemotherapy for potential metastatic lesions. We have a medical oncologist and an internist with a special interest in oncology who can help your pet with chemotherapy if needed.
    • Wide excision of feline vaccine associated sarcomas.
    • Canine soft tissue sarcoma removals.
    • Limb-salvage surgery for osteosarcoma in cases that would otherwise require amputation.
    • Thoracotomy for lung tumors.
    • Abdominal tumor removals.
    • Maxillectomy and mandibulectomy for tumors of the oral cavity.
    • Perianal tumor removals.
    • Skin and muscle tumor removals, including skin flap or skin graft for wound reconstruction.
  • Veterinary Medical Acupuncture is offered as an adjunct to traditional medicine. Western medical acupuncture is a therapeutic modality that involves placing needles in various locations in the body using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and the principles of evidence based medicine. It is commonly used to treat chronic arthritic, neurologic and musculoskeletal conditions that are not being adequately treated by standard therapies such as surgery and medication. It is often used in conjunction with physical therapy for these conditions. Many other medical conditions can be treated with acupuncture as well. Each animal is examined and an acupuncture treatment plan is based on the specific abnormalities present.