SEPTEMBER 18, 2009

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OSU Veterinary Center Initiates New Procedure

Photo of new OSU stent placement procedure.
Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences broke new ground in small animal internal medicine and surgery when they performed the first tracheal stent placement (pictured) in a dog at OSU’s Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Stillwater.

The Oklahoma State University’s (OSU) Center for Veterinary Health Sciences broke new ground in small animal internal medicine and surgery on July 25, 2009.  Justin Thomason, DVM, DACVIM, OSU Small Animal Internal Medicine, assisted by Dr. Mark Davis of Dallas, Texas, performed the first tracheal stent placement in a dog at OSU’s Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Stillwater.

They were assisted by the anesthesia and radiology services which provided all the ancillary support for performing the procedure.

“The stent placement went very well,” says Thomason.  “The patient presented with a severe tracheal collapse and had to be placed on mechanical ventilation prior to the procedure. The last chance for survival was this new procedure.”

Thomason went on to say that the initial treatment for tracheal collapse usually entails conservative medical management, but when that fails, the stent placement is a new alternative.

“This is not suitable for all cases.  If medical management has failed, it is an option for select patients,” added Thomason. “We encourage veterinarians interested in referral of patients for the procedure to contact the veterinary hospital by calling (405)-744-7000. We will need to evaluate each case to make certain this is the best treatment option for the patient.”

Thomason further stated that the stent is not a cure for tracheal collapse, but is an attractive alternative to the more invasive surgical procedures performed in the past.

“Given the risks associated with the previous utilized surgical procedures and the inability to treat certain forms of tracheal collapse, tracheal stents are a minimally-invasive treatment option that we need to offer these select patients. When the procedure is performed on select patients, we hope for improvement in their quality of life when medications are no longer adequate or beneficial."

Instead of making a surgical incision, as was done in the past, a fluoroscopy unit is used to place the stent. OSU’s source for the metal stents is Infiniti Medical located in California.