A pericardectomy is an open chest surgery that removes most, if not all, of the pericardium. The pericardium is a double walled sac that surrounds the heart, absorbs the heart’s motion and protects it.
Pericardectomies are usually conducted in conjunction with a mass removal. The removal of the pericardium is required when it continuously fills with fluid and puts pressure on the heart.
In this procedure, the surgeon opens the thorax (chest) and removes both layers of protective tissue surrounding the heart. Pets recover well and are often unaffected by its removal.
Is Surgery Safe?
As with any surgery, there are risks for potential complications. However, the surgical team at Veazie Veterinary clinic works diligently to minimize these risks through strict monitoring of the patient and a state of the art anesthesia protocol.
The surgery itself is sterile, to minimize the risk of infection. Dr. Cloutier uses a CO2 laser for surgery, which minimizes bleeding and pain. It also does less damage to the tissues and makes surgery far easier to recover from for the patient.
Additionally, our technicians follow an extensive pain management regimen for your pet. Controlling pain is not only good for recovery, but reduces the amount of inhaled anesthetics the patient needs during surgery reducing anesthesia risk.