Another First

Chloe’s owners knew when she was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor on the inside of her ear flap that they wanted it removed ASAP, but they still wanted to preserve her ear. The problem was that in order to get adequate margins around the tumor, a significant amount of tissue would need to be removed, making it virtually impossible to preserve the external or visible portion of her ear.

During the surgical consultation with Dr. Russ Patterson, they expressed this desire to preserve as much of Chloe’s ear flap as possible and he came up with a surgical option that has not, to our knowledge, been utilized in a private veterinary setting in the Pacific Northwest, as yet. The procedure is a common one in human medicine and entails evaluation of the pathology specimen in real time, during the actual surgical procedure, through a technique called Frozen Section. This is done so that as little healthy tissue as possible is removed. The mass was removed and sent immediately to SpecialtyVETPATH,  prepared via Frozen Sectioning and read by the pathologist, Dr. Jennifer Ward, to make sure clean margins were achieved.

The preparation and reading of the specimen took about 20 minutes and while waiting, Dr. Patterson began the process of reconstructing the missing portion of Chloe’s ear. He did so by creating a flap, using the skin from behind Chloe’s ear and attaching it to the excision site, once the pathologist confirmed that the margins were clean.

He sutured it in place, bandaged it up and waited a couple of weeks for it to heal. The flap was then cut free and the edge sutured to the back margin of the ear to recreate a normal ear profile. Those sutures were removed another 10 days later and the cosmetic results have been excellent!

Needless to say, Chloe’s owners are extremely happy with the results.

Posted August 12, 2015 by ASCS in Patient Heroes with No Comments and tagged as , ,

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