A large number of bladder stones removed from a patient using laser surgery.

Bladder Surgery, Urinary Stones (Cystotomy)

Open Bladder Surgery, or Cystotomy, is most often performed at the Suffolk Veterinary Group Laser Surgery Center for the removal of bladder stones, and occasionally small tumors or polyps from the inside of the bladder walls. A pet affected with bladder stones or masses is usually uncomfortable or painful, and exhibiting frequent and/or uncontrolled urination, difficulty urinating, increased drinking, and bloody urine.

Bladder stones are often caused by a combination of diet and the pet’s own metabolism. The bladder stone itself must be identified prior to medical and nutritional management. This is not always possible with a urine sample alone, and the bladder stone itself must be submitted for analysis before proper treatment and prevention may commence. Surgical removal of the stones also provides the pet with faster relief than waiting for them to dissolve and be passed on their own with medical and nutritional management.

X-Rays and urine sampling are required before such a procedure to help fully diagnose your pet’s condition. Bloodwork is also required prior to undertaking anesthesia, and a urine culture to check for urinary tract infections is also recommended to fully understand what is wrong with your pet.

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Under general anesthesia, trauma to the bladder is minimized using the surgical laser, which seals blood vessels to reduce the bloody urination which so often follows these procedures. The reduced or eliminated bleeding also facilitates a faster, more efficient procedure. The laser seals nerve endings to reduce pain, and lymphatics to reduce swelling and inflammation. The laser may also assist in destroying harmful infectious agents at the site, which allows for faster and safer healing. Bleeding from tumors and polyps excised from the bladder walls is also greatly reduced. An X-Ray is taken following the procedure, especially when bladder stones are involved, to insure that all have been removed. Your pet will typically be discharged the same day, and feel better quickly for having the offending stone or mass removed.

An Elizabethan collar is worn for about 1 week to prevent interference with sutures or staples while the incision heals. For bladder stone patients, dietary management is initiated once the stone is analyzed, and may continue for life to prevent recurrence. We recommend rechecking these patients and their urine at least once a year.

Larger tumors, tumors in critical areas of the bladder, or diseases of the kidneys, ureters, and urethra are all more advanced conditions which may require referral to a specialty surgeon, internal medicine specialist, or oncologist.

If you have any questions about our services, please contact us today at (631) 696-2400.