FAQ – Soft Tissue Surgery

What Can I Expect at My First Appointment?

Soft Tissue receives new appointments on Mondays at 10:00 am, 10:30am, and 11:00 am, and Wednesdays at 9:30 am, 10:00 am, 10:30 am, and 11:00 am. Plan to be here for a good portion of the day. Your pet will receive a physical exam by the surgical resident.  Then we will suggest a diagnostic work up and give an estimate for that testing, such as blood work and imaging (x-rays, ultrasound, or a CT scan, depending on the case). If you agree to testing, you leave your pet for diagnostics and we will call you once all diagnostics are complete.  At that time, we will discuss our findings and recommendations for treatment including surgical options. Surgery will not be scheduled the same day of the consultation unless it is deemed an emergency. 

Elective procedures including cryptorchid neuters, laparoscopic spays, and laparoscopic gastropexy are scheduled on Mondays at 9:30 am and will have surgery performed the same day as their appointment. Your pet will have a physical exam and blood work done prior to surgery to confirm they are a good candidate for anesthesia. You will get a call with an update when your pet is under anesthesia and when they are awake from surgery. Depending on the surgery your pet may be able to go home that evening or the following morning. This will be discussed at the time of your consultation.

How Do We Prepare for Our Appointment?

Because in most cases we will use reversible sedation to get diagnostic quality imaging, we ask that your pet be fasted for the appointment. That means NO FOOD after 10:00 pm the night before and no sedative type medications the morning of the appointment.  Allow access to fresh drinking water at all times.

It is helpful if you bring along the medications your pet is currently taking. If your pet has a sensitive stomach or is on a special diet, you should bring that food with you as well. We have access to Purina and Hills pet food products at no extra charge.

If you have blood work results, X-rays and other information from your veterinarian, please bring them with you to the appointment.

How Much Will It Cost?

For soft tissue cases the typical cost of an examination, blood work, sedation, and advanced imaging of 1-2 areas of interest is roughly $800-$1,200. This will vary on previous diagnostics performed. 

You will need to leave a deposit of payment of the low end of the estimate when you leave your pet for care.

When Will My Pet’s Surgery Be Scheduled?

If your pet is a surgical candidate, the surgery and details of the hospital stay will be discussed the day of the consultation.  Surgeries are typically performed the day following your appointment. If you elect to leave your pet for surgery he/she can stay with us overnight and have surgery the next day. Otherwise your pet will need to be back on their surgery date at 7am. On average soft tissue patients stay in hospital 2-3 days post surgery.  We will call you every day while your pet is in the hospital to update you on their progress.

Will We Have to Come Back?

Majority of our soft tissue patients will need to have their incisions re-evaluated 10-14 days from their surgery date. This can be done either with our soft tissue team or with your primary veterinarian. If your pet needs to be seen specifically by our soft tissue department for further blood work or imaging postoperative this will be discussed at the time of your pet’s release. 

Post-operative recheck appointments can be scheduled for Wednesdays and Fridays. These appointments can be shorter but your pet will still require a physical exam.

Can I Board My Pet There?

We do not have the staff or facilities to simply board a pet. However sometimes surgery requires a longer hospitalization or an extended stay for medical needs. If that becomes a concern, these decisions are approved by the surgeon on the case.

Do You Have Weekend Hours?

We do not see appointments on the weekend. However, it is not uncommon to release a patient after surgery on a Saturday or Sunday morning (typically between 8:30-9:30AM). If you will be coming to pick up on a weekend, you will be given an arrival time. You must make arrangements to arrive at that time because our doctors MUST be present for a postoperative release.

How Do I Schedule an Appointment?

Call (217) 333-5300 to schedule a surgery appointment with our soft tissue service. 

If you have further questions you can leave a message with our surgery client service specialist or our soft tissue clinical coordinator.

Surgical Estimates

Because we bill for each service rendered, you never pay for something your pet did not get. However, it can be difficult to give exact estimates for many procedures. An extra bandage, night in the hospital, or pain medication can make a difference in your final bill. Our surgery estimates are rough estimates only. The numbers reflect our best knowledge of the potential cost of your bill during your pet’s hospital stay for the evaluation and surgery.

These estimates include the exam, routine diagnostic work up (x-rays, advanced imaging, blood work) surgery, anesthesia, the immediate post-operative care and post-operative medications. The surgeon will give you a more specific estimate the day you leave your pet for surgery. You will need to leave a deposit of the low end of your estimate when you leave your pet for care. The remainder of the bill must be paid at the time of discharge.

Estimates of Commonly Performed Soft Tissue Surgeries

Please remember, the following estimates are rough only. They are not a guarantee of the actual cost of the procedure.

  • Cholecystectomy $4,500 – $7,800
  • Limb amputation
    • Cat $3,500-$4,500
    • Dog (small/medium) $3,500 – $5,500
    • Dog (large/giant) $4,000 – $6,500
  • Liver Lobectomy $4,500 – $7,000
  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Surgery (BOAS) $3,500 – $5,500
  • Splenectomy $4,500 – $7,200
  • TECA – Total Ear Canal Ablation
    • Unilateral $4,200 – $5,500
    • Bilateral $4,600 – $7,200

Update June 2023