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Dr. Dennis Johnson Veterinarian on the Importance of Preoperative Planning in Veterinary Surgery

Dr. Dennis Johnson Veterinarian

Dr. Dennis Johnson of Decatur is a veterinarian and small animal surgeon. In the following article, Dr. Dennis Johnson discusses the importance of preoperative planning in veterinary surgery for verifying an animal’s health, improving surgical success, and elevating the patient’s (and owner’s) experience.

Preoperative planning in the veterinary field includes tasks such as taking an animal’s history from the owner’s perspective and prior chart notes if available, performing blood tests, imaging the surgical site, and more.

Dr. Dennis Johnson Veterinarian says that pre-op planning and evaluation is necessary for determining whether an animal is healthy enough for surgery. These planning practices also provide several benefits in relation to the success of a procedure and the animal’s experience. The advantages include but are not limited to more accurate surgeries, fewer complications, faster recovery times, and better outcomes.

Importance of Pre- and Post-Operative Preparation

Dr. Dennis Johnson of Decatur says that pre- and post-operative planning is standard practice in most veterinary clinics. It is necessary to gather all of the patient’s history and current health information to determine that the animal is in good health and can handle sedation and recovery. Creating a surgical plan is proven to increase accuracy and reduce complications, as well as providing positive outcomes on the animal’s short-term and long-term prognosis. Post-operative plans provide important safety information for the animal’s successful recovery as well as what to do if something goes awry.

Determining if an Animal is Healthy Enough for Surgery

Dr. Dennis Johnson Veterinarian says that the most important reason to conduct preoperative evaluations is to determine that the animal’s internal systems are functioning properly to handle the stress of anesthesia and the trauma of a surgical procedure. Some animals may require additional care during the perioperative period to ensure they will successfully tolerate the operation.

The evaluation step of preoperative planning also allows veterinary surgeons to determine the appropriate time of day the animal would better tolerate surgical conditions as well as time to thoroughly review test results. An owner may report that their dog is more mellow in the evening compared to the morning, and vice versa. This is important information a veterinarian should obtain before scheduling a long procedure.

More Successful Surgeries

The importance of preoperative planning for surgical success cannot be overstated. It has been proven that updated and accurate preoperative scans allow surgeons to perform more accurate operations, especially when related to joint manipulation. The veterinary surgeons are aware of any changes that have taken place since the problem was first diagnosed and can follow a predetermined course of treatment for optimal resolution.

Dr. Dennis Johnson Veterinarian says that establishing a solid surgical plan also reduces the risk of complications quite significantly. Not only are veterinary surgeons armed with the information they need to make last-minute, potentially life-saving decisions during the procedure, but taking the time to determine the right surgical plan will also lower the incidence of postoperative complications as well.

Dr. Dennis Johnson Decatur

Better Patient Experience

Developing and following a detailed surgical plan will cut down on the amount of time an animal needs to recover fully from surgery according to Dr. Dennis Johnson of Decatur.

The reason for this is twofold: all of the veterinary staff are aware of an animal’s pre-existing health conditions and are able to manage them properly after surgery. An individualized surgical plan is then tailored to the animal to ensure optimal success for their unique circumstance. This benefit also translates into the long-term prognosis after surgery.

Dr. Dennis Johnson of Decatur says that a customized surgical plan—one that is outlined before the animal is on the operating table—ensures that the animal is receiving the treatment they need in order to improve. One surgery does not fit all patients, and preoperative planning guarantees that the individual animal receives the surgery that will produce lasting and effective results.

Since every animal also comes with an individual owner, it is worth mentioning the importance of preoperative planning for their experience as well. Preoperative evaluation and planning is crucial for keeping an owner informed of what is happening with their pet, and it also improves the care an animal will receive after surgery.

Dr. Dennis Johnson of Decatur says that when a surgical plan is determined ahead of time during preoperative planning, veterinary staff can take the time to instruct the owner on proper care after surgery and demonstrate how to administer any medications. They can also be informed of things to watch for that would necessitate a trip back to the vet for an emergency.

Final Thoughts

Evidently, preoperative planning should be a mandate for all veterinary surgeries: surgical success, risk reduction, improved recovery, and a better long-term prognosis are the reasons it is such an important component of veterinary medicine.


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