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Soft Tissue Surgery

Ryan Hospital, surgeryThe Soft Tissue Surgery service at the University of Pennsylvania specializes in treating dogs and cats that require surgery to treat conditions involving the cardiothoracic, gastrointestinal, respiratory and urogenital systems as well as disorders involving the ear, nose and throat.

Both congenital and acquired conditions are routinely treated and oncological procedures routinely performed. Because of the high emergency caseload, our surgeons have a lot of experience with traumatic injuries and reconstructive surgery. The Service is currently staffed by six board certified surgeons, eight residents and a class of rotating interns.

About Soft Tissue Surgery at Penn Vet

Ryan Hospital, surgeryThe Soft Tissue Surgery service at Penn Vet's Ryan Hospital specializes in treating dogs and cats that require surgery to treat conditions involving the cardiothoracic, gastrointestinal, respiratory and urogenital systems as well as disorders involving the ear, nose and throat.

  • Both congenital and acquired conditions are routinely treated and oncological procedures routinely performed.
  • Because of the high emergency caseload, our surgeons have a lot of experience with traumatic injuries and reconstructive surgery.
  • The Service is currently staffed by six board certified surgeons, eight residents and a class of rotating interns.
  • There are two Soft Tissue Surgery services that perform surgery Monday through Friday during the week. Each service alternates surgery days during the week and the service is on call every night of the week and on Saturday and Sunday for emergency cases.
  • On appointment days, necessary diagnostic investigations are performed and the majority of cases are then scheduled for surgery the following day.
  • Some more complex cases require extensive diagnostic procedures under anesthesia. Such procedures include CT, angiography, and biopsy, and are necessary to determine the nature and extent of disease and the feasibility of surgical therapy.
  • The Soft Tissue Surgery service also receives cases transferred from the Medicine, Oncology, Intensive Care, and Emergency services. Cases transferred from these services generally receive surgery on a "medical priority" basis, especially on busy surgery days.

The surgery group has one of the largest pools of soft tissue surgery specialists at any veterinary hospital, academic or otherwise.

The blend of youth and experience in the surgery faculty show the students, interns, and residents in clinical rotations enthusiasm and perspective, enterprise and wisdom. The faculty members retain a vital interest in cases and teaching with them, yet are seasoned enough to offer the students on the surgery a depth of knowledge and insight that comes with experience. These same qualities can be found in the lectures given by the surgery faculty, and are reflected in the numerous teaching awards given to the Surgery faculty over the past decade.

Faculty/Clinicians
   Name Title
 Area(s) of Specialty
 Lillian Aronson, Penn Vet, surgery, renal transplant Lillian Aronson, VMD, DACVS
  • Professor, Surgery
  • Director, Renal Transplantation Service
  • Renal transplantation
  • Urinary tract surgery/Endourology
  • Microvascular surgery
  • Portosystemic shunts
 David Holt, Penn Vet, Surgery David Holt, BVSc, DACVS
  • Professor of Surgery
  • Section Chief, Surgery
  • Portosystemic shunts
  • Respiratory surgery
  • Surgical oncology
 Kim Agnello, Penn Vet, arthroscopy, orthopedics, Ryan Hospital Kimberly Agnello, DVM, MS, DACVS 
  • Assistant Professor of Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Soft Tissue Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
 Dr. Cara Blake, Penn Vet Cara Blake, DVM
  • Lecturer, Small Animal Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Soft Tissue Surgery
Dr. Kendra Hearon, Surgeon, Ryan Hospital  Kendra Hearon, VMD, DACVS, Fellow of Surgical Oncology, ACVS
  •  Lecturer, Surgical Oncology
  •  Surgical Oncology
  • Soft Tissue Surgery
 Jeffrey Runge, Penn Vet, Minimally Invasive Surgery Jeffrey Runge, DVM, DACVS
  • Assistant Professor, Surgery
  • Head, Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
 Dr. Susan Volk, Penn Vet, Surgery
Susan Volk, VMD, PhD, DACVS
  • Assistant Professor, Surgery
  • Soft Tissue Surgery
  • Wound Healing
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
Case Studies: Soft Tissue Surgery
Feline Fibrosarcoma, Penn Vet, Ryan Hospital Computerized axial tomographic scan and three dimensional reconstruction of a fibrosarcoma in a cat.
 Feline Fibrosarcoma Radiograph, Penn Vet, Ryan Hospital  This tumor was surgically removed.
Dog, bloated abdomen, Penn Vet, Surgery  A dog with a severely distended abdomen secondary to gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV).
Radiograph, dog abdomen, Ryan Hospital  The right lateral abdominal radiograph shows the abnormal position of the stomach.