Monday, March 14, 2016

Post-Op Report

Brisbane's surgery took place on Sunday afternoon, it went very well and he is currently at the vet hospital being monitored. Hopefully he will be able to come home tomorrow if his pain is under control and he is healing up well.

The size of the mass really surprised everyone, it was so big it actually outgrew its own blood supply and the tissue at the center was dead. The bump visible on his cheek was only a very small portion of the tumor, it actually extended well into his mouth and sinus cavity, and up past his eye socket. It may have been growing long before I noticed it in December. It had actually eaten away the jawbone around his back three teeth.

Hemangiopericytomas are nearly impossible to remove in their entirety without amputating a limb. These tumors tend to grow tendrils that wrap around everything, and it can be extremely difficult to get good surgical margins without sacrificing a lot of healthy tissue. Since this was a palliative surgery rather than a curative procedure, the vet chose to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. Cryosurgery was done on the parts of the tumor that were not removed in order to slow their regrowth.

Brisbane lost three teeth, but did not lose his left eye. He may not have control of his facial muscles on that side when he recovers, and we don't think he has been able to see out of that eye for weeks, possibly months. The vision in that eye is not expected to return.

Recovery is going to primarily involve pain control, and prevention of infection. At the vet hospital, Brisbane currently has a pain patch as well as IV medication to keep him comfortable. Tomorrow he will be started on oral pain meds to see if those will be enough once he comes home.

Dr. Rugg is truly amazed at how active and happy Brisbane has been with this huge mass in his head. He had been herding sheep and lure coursing with tremendous enthusiasm as recently as a week or two ago, and remained as gregarious as ever up until the surgery this afternoon. I am sure he will be feeling much, much better soon. So happy he's on the road to recovery!

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