Small Animal Surgery DL
SOFT TISSUE Year 2 2022

Small Animal Surgery DL

The new Small Animal Surgery Distance and Practical Learning Program has been purpose built to give veterinary surgeons access to world-class teaching materials, online.

All theory content is presented in an engaging and interactive online format. The program allows you to study with the support of a dedicated module specialist surgeon, available online for answering questions, giving case advice and helping you throughout the program. 

The Soft Tissue theory year is completed by a full consolidated practical week – working with specialist surgeons and tutors to embed your knowledge, practice all techniques in a collegial environment.

The Soft-Tissue is the part of two year fully accredited GPCert SAS program – giving you the opportunity to study and work towards post-nominal qualifications. 

Course Highlights

Small Animal Surgery DL

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Small Animal Surgery DL Modules

Module 1: Surgical Basics: asepsis, instrumentation, operative techniques and wound healing

Key learning objectives:

  • Revise asepsis, sterilisation and appropriate antibiosis for surgical cases
  • Expand your knowledge of instrumentation and instrument handling
  • Become more familiar with the uses of suture, needles, staples and clips
  • Understand the principles of wound healing and how this applies to your clinical cases
  • Re-visit the principles of wound management and get up-to-date with what is available now

Module 2: Urinary and reproductive tract surgery

Key learning objectives:

  • Develop your skills in managing renal surgery
  • Extend your knowledge of obstructive diseases of the urinary tract from ureters to urethra to enhance your day-to-day management of urolithiasis
  • Improve your awareness of the myriad of surgical options for urinary incontinence that are available now including colposuspension, TVT and urethral occluders
  • Advance your familiarity of surgery of the male reproductive system – from prostatic omentalisation to penile and preputial procedures
  • Extend the range of procedures you can offer for the female reproductive system beyond ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy

Module 3: Upper gastrointestinal surgery

Key learning objectives:

  • Become familiar with the surgical approaches to salivary gland disease
  • Consider oesophageal disease and when surgery may be appropriate
  • Gastrotomy and gastrectomy: there is more to surgery of the stomach than just GDV
  • Advance your knowledge of small intestinal disease and how your decision-making can reduce complications
  • Review and revise ruptures and hernias

Module 4: Lower gastrointestinal surgery, liver, spleen and pancreas

Key learning objectives:

  • Improve your knowledge of large intestinal surgery and the differences between cats and dogs
  • Familiarise yourself with surgical approaches to the rectum and anus
  • Explore the options for liver surgery – suture, staples or electrosurgery
  • Review biliary tract surgery – anatomy and surgical options
  • Consolidate your knowledge of pancreatic surgery
  • Splenectomy – does it need removing and if so, which technique and what are the alternatives to removal?

Module 5: Oral, pharyngeal and aural surgery

Key learning objectives:

  • Become secure doing surgery of the lips, cheeks and tongue
  • Improve your approach to surgical treatment of palatal abnormalities
  • Maxillectomy and mandibulectomy: when and where to cut
  • Become more familiar with pharyngeal surgery and your options for tonsillar surgery
  • Make a considered choice for your patients between lateral wall resection, vertical canal ablation, ventral bulla osteotomy and total canal ablation/lateral bulla osteotomy
  • Revise the options for surgical treatment of aural haematoma

Module 6: Surgery of the upper airways, larynx and trachea

Key learning objectives:

  • Revise conditions of the nasal planum of the young and old to guide you when to operate
  • The nasal sinuses – when does surgical access become necessary?
  • Brachycephalic airway disease – a myriad of abnormalities
  • Perfect your knowledge of the larynx to allow you to successfully treat a wide variety of surgical conditions – paralysis, collapse, trauma, stenosis and neoplasia
  • Familiarise yourself with tracheotomy, tracheostomy, tracheal avulsion, collapse, resection/anastomosis, trauma, foreign bodies and neoplasia

Module 7: Surgery of the abdominal and thoracic cavities

Key learning objectives:

  • Perfect your approach to peritonitis by going into the detail of the pathophysiology, clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment options
  • By the end of this module you will have discovered the thrills of thoracic surgery and maybe even have answered some big questions:
    • Big dog / little dog: who wins?
    • Thoracostomy for pneumothorax, pyothorax and chylothorax – which tube?
    • Thoracotomy – which side and which rib space?
    • Lung Lobectomy – how many lobes can you take?
    • PDA –is this still a surgical condition?
    • Pericardectomy – how much should you take?
    • PRAA – why does a regurgitating patient need a thoracotomy?
    • Chylothorax – can you find the thoracic duct?
    • Chest wall diseases – how far can you advance the diaphragm?

Module 8: Surgical oncology

Key learning objectives:

  • Revise the underlying principles of oncologic surgery to inform your surgical approaches to the most common tumours seen in practice
  • Bring yourself up-to-date on all the treatment options for mast cell tumours
  • Become comfortable with maxillectomy and mandibulectomy so you can approach oral tumours with more confidence
  • Familiarise yourself with gastrointestinal tumours so you can optimise your patient’s outcome
  • Recognise the differences between dogs and cats by learning about feline-specific tumours

Module 9: Reconstructive skin surgery – practical session

Key learning objectives:

  • Become familiar with tension relieving techniques, performing undermining, tension-relieving sutures and relaxing incisions
    • Tension relieving sutures: walking sutures, bolster/stent sutures and continuous pre-tensioning sutures
    • Relaxing incisions: multiple punctate relaxing incision, simple relaxing incision, Z-plasty and V-Y plasty
  • Close different shaped wounds with confidence, including dog ears, triangular, circular/crescent and rectangular/quadrangular
  • Practise subdermal plexus flaps, namely advancement flaps, rotation flaps, transposition flaps and interpolation flaps
  • Practise axial pattern flaps, including thoracodorsal flaps and caudal superficial epigastric flaps
  • Recall the different skin graft options and execute full-thickness meshed skin graft and pinch and punch graft

Module 10: Gastrointestinal surgery – practical session

Key learning objectives:

  • Correctly place a tube in the oesophagus
  • Approach the cervical oesophagus and recognise its anatomical features
  • Recognise the possibilities for oesophageal surgery and perform an oesophagotomy/oesophagectomy
  • Correctly place a tube for gastrotomy
  • Execute a gastrotomy/gastrectomy
  • Perform an incisional gastropexy
  • Recall the indications for intestinal biopsies and apply the correct method
  • Apply intestinal surgery techniques, namely enterotomy/enterectomy

Module 11: Urological surgery – practical session

Key learning objectives:

  • Recognise the urological structures with relevance for surgical procedures
  • Execute a nephrectomy/nephrotomy
  • Confidently get samples from renal biopsies
  • Recall the key points to correctly place a tube for cystotomy
  • Perform a cystotomy/cystectomy
  • Apply the theoretical knowledge to perform, step by step, a prescrotal urethrostomy in a dog and a perineal urethrostomy in a cat
  • Practise urohydropulsion

Module 12: Head and neck surgery – practical session

Key learning objectives:

  • Put into practice the theoretical knowledge of ear surgery, performing a total ear canal ablation, a lateral bulla osteotomy and a ventral bulla osteotomy
  • Perform a lateral approach to the larynx and locate the relevant structures for the tie-back technique
  • Recognise all the steps of unilateral arytenoid lateralisation by watching its demonstration
  • Perform a modified extracapsular thyroidectomy
  • Execute a mandibular and sublingual sialadenectomy

Module 13: Thoracic surgery – practical session

Key learning objectives:

  • Perform a lateral intercostal thoracotomy
  • Execute a median sternotomy
  • Perform a total lung lobectomy
  • Recognise all the steps of a pericardiectomy and practise a partial pericardiectomy
  • Place a drain in the thoracic cavity for thoracocentesis
  • Place a drain in the abdominal cavity

Module 14: Joint diseases of the forelimb

Key learning objectives:

  • Consider the conditions of the shoulder including luxation, osteochondrosis and dysplasia and excision arthroplasty surgery
  • Revise the conditions of the elbow including luxations, IOHC, elbow dysplasia, developmental disease and ununited anconeal process
  • Understand developmental carpal disease, carpal hyperextension and arthrodesis and luxations of the carpus and foot
  • Discuss growth plate disorders

Module 15: Joint diseases of the hindlimb

Key learning objectives:

  • Discuss the pros and cons of the myriad of surgical options for the ruptured cruciate
  • Consider alternative causes of stifle dysfunction than the cranial cruciate ligament
  • Revise the underlying causes of patellar luxation when choosing a surgical approach
  • Perfect your knowledge of hock anatomy and the conditions that affect the joint including osteochondrosis and luxation
  • Review the conditions that affect the hip including dysplasia & luxation and familiarise yourself with a variety of procedures described to treat them
  • Understand the pros and cons of total hip replacement

Module 16: Fracture repair I

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand how to perform the initial assessment of the fracture patient
  • Be familiar with the descriptions and applications of fracture classification
  • Apply the principles of fracture repair and decision making in fracture repair to your cases
  • Appreciate the variety of methods available for fracture fixation and implants, including plating and external fixation devices

Module 17: Fracture repair II

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the principles of fracture reduction, including both closed and open techniques
  • Be familiar with the options for bone grafting including both cancellous and cortical grafts
  • Describe the stabilisation of specific fractures of the fore and hindlimb
  • Discuss the clinical approach to the following complications: Delayed union / Non-union / Mal-union / Osteomyelitis

Module 18: Spinal surgery I

Key learning objectives:

  • Integrate the principles of lesion localisation to your spinal cases via a systematic neurological examination and its’ interpretation
  • Understand the application of neurodiagnostics
  • Appreciate the approach to and management of paraplegia and tetraplegia
  • Be familiar with the clinical approach to neurological emergencies, including cranial trauma and status epilepticus

Module 19: Spinal surgery II

Key learning objectives:

Revise the surgical options for spinal surgery according to site:

  • Cervical spine
    • Ventral slot procedure
  • Thoracolumbar spine
    • Hemilaminectomy
  • Lumbosacral spine
    • Dorsal laminectomy
  • CSF tap and Myelography
    • Identify the appropriate landmarks for acquiring CSF samples and obtaining diagnostic myelograms

Module 20: Joint diseases of the forelimb – practical session

Key learning objectives:

  • Consider the conditions of the shoulder including luxation, osteochondrosis and dysplasia and excision arthroplasty surgery
  • Revise the conditions of the elbow including luxations, IOHC, elbow dysplasia, developmental disease and ununited anconeal process
  • Understand developmental carpal disease, carpal hyperextension and arthrodesis and luxations of the carpus and foot
  • Discuss growth plate disorders

Module 21: Joint diseases of the hindlimb – practical session

Key learning objectives:

  • Discuss the pros and cons of the myriad of surgical options for the ruptured cruciate
  • Consider alternative causes of stifle dysfunction than the cranial cruciate ligament
  • Revise the underlying causes of patellar luxation when choosing a surgical approach
  • Perfect your knowledge of hock anatomy and the conditions that affect the joint including osteochondrosis and luxation
  • Review the conditions that affect the hip including dysplasia & luxation and familiarise yourself with a variety of procedures described to treat them
  • Understand the pros and cons of total hip replacement

Module 22: Internal fixation I – practical session

Key learning objectives:

  • Apply cerclage wires and tension band fixations
  • Place positional and lag screws
  • Recognise the most important features to correctly approach tibial fractures
    • Approach the tibia medially and apply a bone plate
  • Recognise the most important features to correctly approach radial fractures
    • Approach the radius cranio-medially / laterally and apply a bone plate
  • Recognise the most important features to correctly approach femoral fractures
    • Approach the femur laterally, apply a bone plate and an intramedullary pin (plate and rod)

Module 23: Internal fixation II – practical session

Key learning objectives:

  • Recognise the most important features to correctly approach humeral fractures
    • Approach the humeral shaft laterally
    • Apply a bone plate and an intramedullary pin (plate and rod)
  • Perform a dorsal approach to the carpal joint
  • Perform a carpal arthrodesis
  • Perform a medial and lateral approach to the tarsal joint
  • Perform a tarsal arthrodesis

Module 24: External fixation and bone grafting – practical session

Accordion Content

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FAQ

What are the entry requirements for this program?

It is recommended you have a minimum of 1 year clinical experience to register in this program. It is most beneficial to practitioners who have had some significant surgical experience and are in a busy clinical practice. Please contact the Improve Team directly if you wish to discuss your suitability.

When is the learning content available for each module?

The content for this program will be available through the online learning platform. At the beginning of each month, the content for weeks 1 and 2 will be released. At the beginning of the 3rd week, the remaining content will be released.

How can I track my progress in the program?

Progress of the completion of your module and program are tracked in different ways.

Each module consists of 9 interactive lessons including reflective study which may involve case studies, MCQ writing and calculation practice during week 4, depending on the specific module. The interactive lessons will track and remember your progress whilst you complete it. When you return to a specific lesson or case study, you will return to the page that you last visited.

Once a lesson is completed, a tick will appear next to the lesson icon on the module course page. You will also see a progress indicator at the top right-hand corner of the course page and a more detailed Progress Bar in the collapsible side menu on the left.

Upon completing all 9 lessons and the 2 case studies, you will be awarded a Digital Badge, recognising your achievement. As you progress through the program, badges will be awarded at 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 completion stages.

How many hours per week will I have to spend on the program?

You will spend on average 3-4 hours per week. Preparation of assessments and revising for the final exam is additional depending on your route.   

Is the General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert) all online?

Yes, the full program to achieve the GPCert is all online with the exception of the Surgery programme which includes ten practical modules.

How do I submit my case report for the GPCert?

All ISVPS assessments are uploaded to the candidates’ area via the ISVPS website. You will be given a login to the candidates’ area when you register with ISVPS.

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