Surgical nursing

image of Surgical nursing
Online Access: £ 25.00 + VAT
BSAVA Library Pass Buy a pass


This chapter is designed to give information on preparation of the surgical environment and surgical equipment, including theatre clothing and drapes; asepsis and sterilization, instrument cleaning and maintenance, preparation of small animals for surgery; providing the veterinary surgeon with general intraoperative assistance; providing postoperative care to promote rapid recovery; recognition and management of pre-, peri-, and postoperative problems; and common surgical conditions of small animals and their nursing.

Preview this chapter:
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



Image of 13.1
13.1 A veterinary nurse using Cheatle forceps to lay out sterile surgical instruments on a trolley in an aseptic manner.
Image of 13.5
13.5 Indicators of sterilization in common use. Chemical indicator strip for steam autoclave (TST strip). Blue = sterile; yellow = not sterile. Browne’s tube. Indicator adhesive label for ethylene oxide (yellow; turning blue on exposure). Autoclave (Bowie Dick) tape after (top) and before (bottom) exposure to steam. Peel-and-seal bags after (top) and before (bottom) exposure to steam.
Image of 13.8
13.8 Examples of commonly used instruments. (Courtesy of Veterinary Instrumentation.)
Image of 13.13
13.13 Suture needle shapes.
Image of 13.14
13.14 Needle point and shaft designs.
Image of 13.18
13.18 Final skin scrub of a patient in theatre.
Image of 13.19
13.19 How to drape a patient with four plain drapes.
Image of 13.20
13.20 A patient draped with a disposable adhesive fenestrated drape.
Image of 13.23
13.23 How to put on sterile gloves – closed gloving method.
Image of 13.24
13.24 A scrub nurse (front right) assisting the surgeon and managing the instrument trolley. The trolley is raised over the patient, allowing the nurse to access the trolley and assist without moving around the table.
Image of 13.26
13.26 Two Penrose drains placed to manage a seroma after skin reconstruction in the groin of a cat.
Image of 13.27
13.27 Active suction drain placed to manage a large subcutaneous abscess in the neck of a kitten.
Image of 13.33
13.33 Elizabethan collar applied to prevent a patient from interfering with a wound.
Image of 13.34
13.34 Body brace applied to prevent a patient interfering with a bandage over the pelvic area.
Image of 13.38
13.38 Equipment for fracture treatment. Radiograph of intramedullary pin positioned to repair a long bone fracture (lateral view of femur). Radiograph of Kirschner wires used to reconstruct multiple small bone fragments (fracture of femoral neck and trochanteric osteotomy). Radiograph of cerclage wires combined with intramedullary pin to repair comminuted fracture of long bone (feline tibia). Radiograph of bone plate and screws used to repair long bone fracture (comminuted canine femoral fracture). Bone plate kit, consisting of plates, screws and the specialist equipment used to place them. This is the Mini Fragment set of the AO/ASIF system of internal fixation. Radiograph of external fixator used to repair severely comminuted feline femoral fracture. Same cat as in (f) with external fixator in place. This will be removed 6–8 weeks after surgery, once the fracture has healed. (All except (e) courtesy of Dr Martin Owen, University of Bristol)
Image of 13.42
13.42 Hanging limb preparation for limb surgery.
Image of 13.44
13.44 Use of an automated needle core biopsy device to obtain a sample from the liver of a dog under ultrasound guidance.
Image of 13.50
13.50 Laryngeal neoplasia in an elderly dog. Examination with a laryngoscope under anaesthesia reveals a soft tissue mass (m) between the arytenoid cartilages.
Image of 13.51
13.51 Stenotic nares in an English bulldog during surgical correction.
Image of 13.52
13.52 Foreign body removed from nasal chamber of a dog under endoscopic guidance.
Image of 13.53
13.53 Cleft of the hard palate in a puppy (under anaesthesia, immediately before surgery).
Image of 13.54
13.54 Sharpei recovering from upper respiratory tract surgery. Note the sternal position the animal is placed in and the use of nasal prongs for supplemental oxygen therapy without causing distress.
Image of 13.55
13.55 Cat following resection of the rhinarium for treatment of squamous cell carcinoma (5 days after surgery).
Image of 13.57
13.57 Thoracic radiograph of a cat showing a radiodense foreign body in the distal trachea. A pebble was later removed endoscopically.
Image of 13.59
13.59 Primary lung tumour in right middle lobe of a dog, seen during lateral thoracotomy. This was removed by a lobectomy.
Image of 13.61
13.61 Excised specimen of a mandibular neoplasm from a dog managed by bilateral rostral mandibulectomy. Postoperative appearance of the dog.
Image of 13.64
13.64 Lateral thoracic radiograph of a dog with a foreign body (tennis ball) in the caudal thoracic oesophagus.
Image of 13.66
13.66 Partial gastrectomy using a surgical stapler (thoracoabdominal device) to remove a gastric neoplasm.
Image of 13.68
13.68 Linear foreign body (pair of tights) being removed from a dog through an enterotomy.
Image of 13.69
13.69 Ventral view of 180-degree rotation of stomach. Pylorus moves ventrally from right to left. Pylorus and body of stomach move clockwise. Pylorus lies to left of stomach. Pylorus moves more dorsally. (Reproduced from .) Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
Image of 13.71
13.71 Extensive anal furunculosis on the perineum of a German Shepherd Dog.
Image of 13.72
13.72 A dog placed in the perineal position for repair of a right-sided perineal rupture (the rupture has been reduced and appears as a large depression). A purse-string suture has been placed in the anus.
Image of 13.74
13.74 Thoracoabdominal surgical stapler used to carry out liver lobectomy in a cat.
Image of 13.75
13.75 LDS device (Autosuture) used during splenectomy in a dog.
Image of 13.77
13.77 Ureteronephrectomy to manage a case of ectopic ureter with hydronephrosis.
Image of 13.79
13.79 Large scrotal haematoma that developed during the 24 hours after castration of a dog.
Image of 13.81
13.81 Intraoperative view of canine penis that has been reconstructed after traumatic partial amputation. The penis has been held out of the prepuce with a Penrose drain tightened around the base and a urethral catheter is in place.
Image of 13.83
13.83 Puppies recovering in an incubator after Caesarean section whilst surgery is completed.
Image of 13.86
13.86 Surgical field for ear canal surgery. The pinna is included in the draped area (photo taken at completion of surgery and the towel clips have been removed).
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error