Advanced Surgery


Successful Cardiac Pacemaker Placement

Local dog undergoes rare open heart surgery *

Report from KTUU (Alaska TV Channel 2) by by Megan Baldino, Thursday, May 21, 2009

A local dog underwent open heart surgery recently and received a pacemaker. It was one of the rarest and riskiest operations ever done in Alaska.
For full text, click here:  Copyright 2009 KTUU

View Summary of Pacemaker Surgery

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View Pacemaker Part I

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View Pacemaker Part II

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View Pacemaker Part III

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View patient 4 weeks after surgery

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If you are interested to meet with one of our Board Certified Surgeons at Veterinary Specialiats of Alaska, P.C. to discuss cardiac surgery that may apply to your pet, please do not hesitate to contact us.

*Please note: There was a misunderstanding between reporters and surgeon. The procedure reported is NOT considered an open heart surgery. Open heart surgery implies that blood bypasses the heart while a surgical procedure is performed inside the heart, for example when a cardiac valve is implanted. This procedure is currently only offered at two veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States: Michigan and Colorado State University. To place a cardiac pacemaker, the pericardium, which is the bag surrounding the heart, is opened and the electrical leads are sutured to the outside of the heart muscle. Cardiac pacemaker placement is also done percutaneaously in the appropriate patients at our clinic. This procedure is less invasive and faster. Dirsko J.F. von Pfeil,, DVM, DACVS, DECVS, Adjunct Professor – Small Animal Surgery – Michigan State University, Staff surgeon at Veterinary Specialists of Alaska, P.C.,

Veterinary Specialists Of Alaska