In October 2022, Dr Truong – a BOAS Veterinary Surgeon from NSW, visited Melbourne Bulldog Clinic to get a first hand glimpse at the way in which our Brachycephalic surgeons and nurses assist our patients from their admission to hospital, through to being ready to be discharged and sent home the same day (which remains our preference for a faster and stress free recovery following airway correction).
We were eager to learn what Dr Bao gained from his time with us and he provided us with the following feedback:
1. Why did you come to Melbourne Bulldog Clinic to observe Dr Karin Davids BOAS surgeries?
Veterinary surgeons/specialists have their personal preferences regarding BOAS surgeries. Therefore, I would like to experience how Dr. Karin Davids’ approach differs from others’. I believe I can learn from experienced surgeons such as Dr. Karin, who has performed numerous of these procedures on a weekly/daily basis. And it was a total pleasure to be able to witness how skilful, knowledgeable, and confident she was with her techniques.
2. What differences did you observe in the way you’ve done BOAS surgery at your clinic compared to Melbourne Bulldog Clinic (MBC) up until now, and what changes would you make going forward?
Before the trip to MBC, I performed BOAS surgeries using both techniques, folded flap palatoplasty (shortening and thinning of the soft palate) and staphylectomy (shortening of the soft palate). However, with the instruction of Dr. Karin Davids, I appreciated the superior benefits of folded flap palatoplasty in the management of brachycephalic patients and this will be my preferred approach in the future. For effective surgical management of soft palate shortening, I learned that the length to be resected can be more than my usual approach. From Karin, I have also learned to assess brachycephalic patients more holistically and then decide on the best approach for these patients. Therefore, I will also consider incorporating laryngeal sacculectomy and tonsillectomy in my techniques as need be.
3. Did you learn anything from Dr. Celia about the way we assess BOAS prior to surgery?
Dr. Celia was excellent in her communication skills. From her, I understand the importance of client education and communication. Her calm and collected manner in explaining the pathogenicity of BOAS syndrome and the benefits of surgical intervention has again proved that MBC is a very professional and reassuring destination for brachycephalic patients.
4. Did you spend some time with the nurses and did you learn anything about the way they deal with BOAS patients pre and post-surgery, both behaviourally and medically including the playpens, requests for clients to come in and sit with the patient if they are stressed, and the dog carry harnesses they use?
Being able to interact with the nurses’ team was the highlight of my visit to the MBC. I could not be more impressed by the level of professionalism from the nurses. They are not only able to keep the patients calm prior to the surgery, but also respond very timely to any minor distress that the patients experience post-op. The nurses understand the importance of minimizing stress for BOAS patients to lower the risk of complications and they execute their interventions very efficiently. After interacting with nurses, I learned that any patient entering MBC will receive the highest level of veterinary care from a team of highly trained and dedicated surgeons and nurses.
5. Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience at Melbourne Bulldog Clinic?
Being able to visit MBC was an absolutely pleasant surprise to me. Firstly, Dr. Marcus Hayes was so accommodating and explained his experience and knowledge through our initial phone conversation. I can feel his strong belief in improving the welfare of the animals, especially the brachycephalic breeds, by educating the dog owners, breeders, and the younger generation of veterinarians such as myself. Secondly, the opportunity to learn about BOAS with Dr. Karin Davies was amazing. After experiencing first-hand how well looked after the patients are, I believe that MBC with Dr. Karin, Dr. Marcus, and their team of great nurses is a trustworthy destination for BOAS surgeries for both pet parents and other vet hospitals.
Thank you for the opportunity.