Nurse Sarah brought beautiful Bella in for ovariohysterectomy today.

Technique is a mini-approach, not laparoscopic though with similar advantages of minimal tissue trauma and entry incision.

Surgical time is swifter, there is no peritoneal reaction or abdominal distension, and patients typically recover swiftly and comfortably.

Dog on back on operating table at Penmellyn Vets after minimal incision ovariohysterectomy
Ruler next to surgical incision showing only 3 1/2cm of incision
Nurse Sarah with beautiful Husky dog Bella at Penmellyn Vets

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A30 Referrals PENMELLYN VET GROUP LTD Station Road St. Columb Major, Cornwall TR9 6BX
Tel: 01637 880307 Fax: 01637 880825 E-mail:

Thoracotomy – surgery of the chest – is a team event

Some of today’s team are pictured in the image. Kathy monitors the anaesthetic level of the patient, a lovely spaniel. She checks heart rate, breathing rate, monitors the levels of blood oxygen and strength of pulse.

Her constant attention means we can react to any changes immediately.

Jenny is at the rear, hands around the oxygen bag. As soon as the chest is opened, she will begin a regular routine of sending breaths into the lungs, adjusting the rate and working in tune with the surgeon.

Thoracotomy around operating table at A30 referrals Penmellyn Vets with Colin Whiting and nurses wearing surgical masks and gowns

Claire is standing ready to swab clear. During this procedure it will be her hand that gently lifts the lungs away from the heart to expose the cancer lump, and it will be her retraction that gives the field of view for surgeon Colin to access it.

Jess took this photo, right at the start of the procedure. During the operation she will fetch the sutures, drains, fluids and any extra instruments called for by the sterile team. She knows where they all are, what they are all called, and even their nicknames that might be used in a hurry.

Why are we doing the procedure? Because James performed a detailed ultrasound scan, locating and diagnosing the source of the bleeding inside the chest that was robbing our patient of his breath. After the surgery, he will be transferred to a recovery kennel, where Rachel will be the first to kneel by his side as he wakes up.

The list of those involved goes on, like the spreading branches of a tree…we’ll phone the owners to update them and pass on news of the recovery, when they next ring in this afternoon either Sarah or Annette will be at reception to take their call. Medication will be brought through from the hospital pharmacy by Vanessa, Charlotte will be ready to help him out for a wee as soon as he is woken up enough to stand, and in a few hours tonight’s on-call team of Jade, Holly and Lizzy will take over his care through to morning handover, ensuring all his pain-relieving medication and fluid support is given throughout the night.

That’s the team you’ll find working at the hospital…not always the same faces, not always the same roles, for many procedures not nearly as many. And in many ways, the names given here only scratch the surface, as even further behind the scenes our building maintenance, heating management, equipment ordering is handled by Geoffrey, Karen, Chris and many colleagues beside.

So whether you come with your pet and see one face or many, it is invariably the teamwork of a bunch of massively dedicated professionals that takes care of your pet’s wellbeing in all ways little and large, triumphant or sad, exciting or mundane.

That’s the hospital and its greatest asset…a staff of stars all forming their own vital cog in the machine.

Dog Digger after thoracotomy surgery with nurse at Penmellyn vets

This is Digger this morning with nurse Molly, after his chest surgery we featured yesterday.

He’s enjoyed a visit from his owners and is doing well on his medication.

Amazing! They have saved our Great Dane “Tallula” 3 times from different illnesses and she is only 5!

And they are also patient with the upset owners too!

Thank you

Kate at St Columb

Want to refer a case?

A30 Referrals PENMELLYN VET GROUP LTD Station Road St. Columb Major, Cornwall TR9 6BX
Tel: 01637 880307 Fax: 01637 880825 E-mail:

What a wonderful team!

Pebbles had a short stay in with us post spinal surgery and at discharge her lovely lovely owner….

A kiss for Chester

Rest assured, your pet becomes part of the family here at A30Referrals