Our veterinarians routinely perform an array of soft tissue surgical procedures including spays, neuters, mass removals, cystotomy/bladder stone removal and exploratory surgeries, as well as a number of other soft tissue surgeries. For orthopedic surgeries and advanced soft tissue surgeries, we collaborate with a team of board-certified surgeons who perform most of the procedures at our facility.

At St. Francis Animal Hospital, we offer the following:

  • Highly trained veterinarians and technicians experienced in cutting edge anesthesia and surgical techniques.
  • Anesthesia protocols tailored to your individual pet’s needs including local anesthesia and constant rate infusions (CRIs) of pain medications.
  • Full anesthetic monitoring including pulse oximetry, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure monitoring, and a dedicated veterinary technician.
  • Perioperative fluid support and thermal support.

For more information on anesthesia at St. Francis, please click here.

We make every effort to ensure that your pet receives the best possible care. Our focus on patient safety, pain management, and the most current surgical practices is designed to exceed your expectations. Our staff of compassionate, caring professionals will monitor your pet before, during, and after surgery, while taking exceptional care to ensure a safe and complete recovery. We will also address any questions or concerns you may have about surgery, including concerns about anesthesia, pain management, or postoperative care.

Soft Tissue Surgery

All of our doctors at St. Francis perform soft tissue surgery, and surgeries are generally performed Monday through Friday. Most of our surgery patients are discharged on the same day of surgery. The most common soft tissue surgical procedures include:

Spaying / Neutering

We offer spaying and neutering services for dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small mammals. Spaying and neutering prevents your pet from reproducing. In addition, spaying and neutering your pet generally leads to a longer life by protecting him or her from reproductive tract diseases and cancers involving the reproductive tract.

Mass / Tumor Removals

Skin masses are common in pets. Some masses are benign, while others are cancerous. Often, surgical removal of the mass is necessary to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Our highly skilled doctors can perform mass removal(s) for your pet. After surgery, masses are submitted to our outside laboratory for histopathology.


Bladder stones are very common in dogs and cats. Our highly trained doctors and staff can perform a surgery called a cystotomy to remove stones from your pet’s bladder. After removal, stones are submitted for analysis so we can provide you with a long-term management plan for prevention of future stones in your pet.

Abdominal Exploratory

Abdominal exploratory surgery is a common procedure performed at St. Francis. Exploratory surgery is most commonly indicated to remove a foreign body causing an obstruction within the intestinal tract. This may involve an incision into the stomach (gastrotomy) or intestinal tract (enterotomy) depending on the location of the obstruction. For more severe cases, a resection and anastamosis (i.e. removal of a segment of intestine) is necessary. Exploratory surgery may also be indicated to remove a tumor or to obtain biopsies of internal organs.

Other Soft Tissue Surgeries

Our doctors regularly perform a wide variety of other soft tissue surgeries including nasal wedge resection, ‘cherry eye’ surgery (surgical correction of prolapsed third eyelid glands), laceration repair, biopsy of skin or masses, surgical management of abscesses, enucleation (surgical removal of an eye), hernia repair, and mastectomy (surgical removal of a mammary gland or chain).

Orthopedic Surgery

For advanced soft tissue surgeries and orthopedic surgery, we work with Dr. Lara Rasmussen of ‘Direct Veterinary Surgery’ as well as Dr. Scott Hammel of ‘City of Lakes Veterinary Surgery’. Both are board-certified veterinary surgeons. The most common orthopedic conditions treated at St. Francis include:

Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Depending on the size and activity level of your pet, our surgeons will recommend an extracapsular repair or a Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) to repair your pet’s injured cruciate ligament. If your pet has also sustained a meniscal injury, it may be treated at the time of the cruciate ligament surgery. For more information on cruciate ligament disease, please click here.

Patellar Luxation Repair

Many dogs suffer from patellar luxation. Our surgeons can perform surgery to correct this common problem. For more information on patellar luxation, please click here.

Fractures or Dislocations

Our surgeons can manage your pet’s fracture or dislocation with the most appropriate techniques including pins, plates, wires, or external splinting or casting.

Other Orthopedic Surgeries

Other orthopedic surgeries performed at St. Francis include femoral head ostectomy, denervation, limb amputation, ulnar osteotomy/ostectomy, and joint athrodesis. We can generally provide care for other orthopedic issues as well or provide you with the resources necessary for a referral. The doctors and technical staff at St. Francis will manage your pet’s aftercare following any of these orthopedic surgeries. We will provide you with instructions for post-operative care, bandage care, pain management, and physical therapy for your pet.

Our partnership with Veterinary Surgical Specialists allows you to have advanced orthopedic care for your pet in the comfort of your own neighborhood veterinary clinic with the doctors and staff that you trust.