Specialists vs practice

September 22nd, 2017

Veterinary Specialist Auckland (VSA) Sylvia Park was established in 2016 as an expansion of our surgical practice at VSG which opened in 2000. The main driver for expansion was more space and the need for an on-site CT imaging service. In -house physiotherapy with an underwater-treadmill was also a new initiative for post-op rehabilitation of our orthopaedic and neurosurgery patients. This service is also open to referral.

What do specialists do that is different than a primary practice veterinarian or a primary practice veterinarian that does some surgery?

Veterinary specialists in many ways mimic their human counterparts. We receive our cases from general practitioners to provide advanced care for their patients – in this way we are an extension of their practices. We work in hospitals supported by specialists in other disciplines ( medicine, surgery and diagnostic imaging, dermatology ) and working together,  patients with complicated disease can have more accurate diagnoses and treatment than in a general practice setting. Advanced surgery needs advanced nursing and 24 hour care so our hospitals at Sylvia Park and Carrington Rd, Mt Albert both have emergency practices that care for our patients overnight and at the weekend. Our surgical nurse team is highly trained and dedicated.

Advanced imaging provided by our CT at VSA Sylvia Park allows much more accurate diagnosis and staging of our oncology, neurological and trauma patients. This leads to better surgical planning and better outcomes. With surgery the success lies in accurate pre-operative patient assessment, expert surgical treatment and excellent post-operative care until the patient can be discharged. This requires a full team approach with highly skilled people managing all facets of the patients journey through the process –  just like in a human hospital.

Our case load across the two hospitals VSASurgical Sylvia Park and VSASurgical Mt Albert ( formerly VSGSurgical) includes neurosurgery ( brain and spinal surgery), soft tissue surgery ( reconstructive, abdominal  and thoracic), orthopaedic surgery ( fracture and joint as well as developmental abnormalities) , minimally invasive surgery (thoracoscopy, laparoscopy and arthroscopy) and oncological surgery ( cancer removal and reconstruction). We also work with the medicine service at VSG to provide chemotherapy.

As I have said, very similar to our human counterparts.


Dr Alex Walker

Director of Veterinary Specialists.

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