Slide Surgery The surgeons at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists are board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). They offer a broad range of procedures from life-saving emergency surgeries, to extensive orthopedic repairs and delicate soft tissue procedures. Through advanced continuing education and extensive professional affiliations, our surgeons keep abreast of the latest advances in surgical techniques and peri-operative care.

The surgery department is committed to the safest possible surgery for your pet. Thorough pre-operative evaluation, including an in-depth diagnostic evaluation and the opportunity for consultation with additional in-house specialists, ensures that every patient gets a complete pre-operative assessment.

M. FAULKNER BESANCON

BOARD CERTIFIED—SMALL ANIMAL SURGERY

After completing his undergraduate degree in Biology at Northeastern University in 1993 Dr. Besancon attended veterinary school at Iowa State University, completing his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1997. Dr. Besancon then completed a one-year rotating internship in Small animal Medicine and Surgery, and a two year surgical internship in Small Animal Surgery at VCA South Shore in Weymouth, MA. He then returned to Iowa State University for a year-long Orthopedic Fellowship, followed by a 3-year Small Animal Surgical Residency at the University of California-Davis to complete his formal surgical training. In 2005 he completed his board certification, becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Specializing in the practice of small animal surgery, Dr. Besancon provides care to pets suffering from a variety of diseases and conditions. He has been trained in and enjoys all aspects of surgery.

In his down time Dr. Besancon enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, along with their Golden retriever. He enjoys golfing, fishing, painting, and spending as much time as possible in the woods of Maine.

GEORGE S. CORONADO JR.

BOARD CERTIFIED—SMALL ANIMAL SURGERY

Dr. Coronado completed his veterinary degree at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. He then completed an internship at Purdue University in 1995. He obtained his residency training in small animal surgery at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he received the resident of the year award in 1997, 1998, and 1999. He completed a master’s degree in 2000, and then worked as the staff neurosurgeon at the University of Wisconsin until joining the staff of OSVS in 2002. Dr. Coronado became board certified in small animal surgery in 2004. His surgical interests include surgical oncology and reconstruction, neurosurgery, and laparoscopic/thorascopic procedures. He is a member of the Society of Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgery, Veterinary Cancer Society, and International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management.

After a full day of work, Dr. Coronado enjoys his “quiet” time with his wife, two children, two dogs, and three cats. He enjoys bicycling, running, golf, and music. He is proud to be Texas born and raised, and he is a die-hard (Texas A&M) Aggie!

S. CHRISTOPHER RALPHS

BOARD CERTIFIED—SMALL ANIMAL SURGERY

Dr. Chris Ralphs graduated from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in 1998. He then continued his training with a general internship at the Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Norwalk, Connecticut, and a surgical internship at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, Texas. He completed his surgical residency at the University of Minnesota. Following his residency, Dr. Ralphs was in practice for three years at Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before moving to Rhode Island. He enjoys soft tissue neurologic and orthopedic surgery and is trained in both the TPLO and TTA procedures for cruciate ligament ruptures.

On those days when he is not at work, Dr. Ralphs enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters and exploring the outdoor pursuits in the area. They are glad to be back in the Northeast where they can see their family and friends more often.

DAVID SWEET

BOARD CERTIFIED—SMALL ANIMAL SURGERY

Dr. Sweet completed his veterinary degree at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine in 1989, and stayed on there to complete an internship the following year.

He completed his small animal surgery residency training at the North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, and became board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1994. He spent a year at Washington State University as a clinical instructor in small animal surgery, and then two years as an Assistant Professor of Small Animal Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Sweet joined the staff of OSVS in 2003. He was on the board of the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association from 2004 through 2008 and served as its president in 2007. He was honored with the RIVMA Veterinarian of the Year award in 2008. He is currently on the board of directors of the Companion Animal Foundation and the Ocean State Animal Coalition. His clinical interests include pain management, soft tissue surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and oncologic surgery including reconstruction techniques. His personal interests include tai chi, reading, and enjoying the company of his children, who get smarter and more beautiful every day (thank goodness they take after their mom).

High Tech – Soft Touch

The hospital has three complete surgical suites, each equipped with state-of-the-art surgical equipment for performing the most up-to-date procedures. In addition, each suite is outfitted with a mechanical ventilator and continuous monitoring equipment, including:

  • Pulse oximetry
  • EKG
  • Blood pressure
  • End-tidal CO2

This instrumentation combined with table-side testing and a complete in-house laboratory ensures that each patient receives the safest possible anesthesia.

Post-operatively, the surgery department is committed to making your pet as comfortable as possible. Patients are allowed to recover in a warm, comfortable atmosphere with continued careful monitoring. It is widely recognized that it is much easier to prevent pain than it is to eliminate it. A pro-active, multi-modal approach to pain management is a part of every surgery patient’s pre- and post-operative plan, and our highly trained technicians continuously monitor for signs of discomfort.

The Best There Is

The hospital has two complete surgical suites, each equipped with state-of-the-art surgical equipment for performing the most up-to-date procedures. In addition, each suite is outfitted with a mechanical ventilator and continuous monitoring equipment, including:

  • LPulse oximetry
  • EKG
  • Blood pressure
  • End-tidal CO2 monitoring

This instrumentation combined with table-side testing and a complete in-house laboratory ensures that each patient receives the safest possible anesthesia.

Post-operatively, the surgery department is committed to making your pet as comfortable as possible. Patients are allowed to recover in a warm, comfortable atmosphere with continued careful monitoring. It is widely recognized that it is much easier to prevent pain than it is to eliminate it. A pro-active, multi-modal approach to pain management is a part of every surgery patient’s pre- and post-operative plan, and our highly trained technicians continuously monitor for signs of discomfort.

Slide Why 24 Hour Care Matters OSVS is staffed by emergency/critical care doctors and highly trained technicians 24 hours per day. This allows for moment-by-moment monitoring of all post-operative patients as well as early recognition and immediate treatment of pain or any post-operative complications. The earlier these issues are identified and treated, the easier they are to resolve and the less likely they are to evolve into something more serious.

Because we monitor patients continuously, we are able to provide uninterrupted pain management tailored to each pet’s specific needs. Early initiation of physical therapy and surgical incision care provided in the first 24 to 72 hours helps to promote healing and shorten recovery time.

Surgeries

Soft-Tissue

The board-certified surgeons at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists have completed advanced continuing education in order to remain abreast of the latest advances in soft-tissue surgical techniques and peri-operative care. We work cooperatively with your primary care veterinarian to assess and treat a wide variety of soft-tissue conditions.

SOFT-TISSUE SURGICAL PROCEDURES INCLUDE (BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO):

  • Upper airway surgery—Brachycephalic syndrome, laryngeal paralysis, tracheostomy, tumor removal, trauma repair, tracheal stenting procedures
  • Thoracic surgery—Cardiovascular problems including patent ductus arteriosus ligation, cardiac tumor removal, lung tumor removal, abscess drainage/removal, trauma repair, lung lobe torsion removal
  • Abdominal surgery—Gastric dilatation and volvulus repair,Bloat, gastrointestinal obstruction (foreign body retrieval), intra-abdominal tumor removal, hernia repair, portosystemic shunt attenuation, bladder stone removal, urethrostomy, stenting procedures, cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal), peritonitis management
  • Surgery of the skin (tumor removal, management of dermatologic problems) and wound reconstruction (including skin flaps and skin grafts)
  • Ear surgery
As with all surgeries at OSVS, soft-tissue surgery patients receive a complete pre-operative assessment; benefits of continuous monitoring equipment, a pro-active, multi-modal approach to pain management; and 24-hour post-operative monitoring and care by our emergency/critical care doctors and highly trained technicians.

Ocean State Veterinary Specialists is committed to providing high quality, specialized pet care. If you believe your pet may benefit from our surgery services, please speak with your family veterinarian about a referral.

Orthopedic

At Ocean State Veterinary Specialists, our board-certified surgeons are able to manage a variety of orthopedic conditions in pets, which includes disorders of bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Lameness is one of the most common ailments encountered by pet owners. While some minor conditions causing pets to limp can resolve without intervention, any persistent lameness requires veterinary evaluation. Using the latest imaging technology and diagnostic procedures, our specialists can accurately diagnose the cause of orthopedic issues and recommend the most beneficial procedures. OSVS surgeons remain current through extensive professional development and advanced continuing education in order to offer the latest advances in surgical techniques and peri-operative care.

ORTHOPEDIC SURGICAL PROCEDURES INCLUDE (BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO):

  • Cranial Cruciate Ligament Repair
    1. Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA)
    2. Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)
    3. Nylon stabilization
  • Other tendon and ligament repair
  • Fracture repair
  • Repair of joint luxations
  • Treatment of congenital and developmental orthopedic diseases
  • Management of chronic lameness
View a gallery of images from a few of our orthopedic cases.

As with all surgeries at OSVS, orthopedic surgery patients will be evaluated prior to surgery through a complete pre-operative assessment. All patients receive the benefits of continuous monitoring; a pro-active, multi-modal approach to pain management; and 24-hour post-operative monitoring and care by our emergency/critical care doctors and highly trained technicians.

Ocean State Veterinary Specialists provides high quality, specialized pet care. If you believe your pet may benefit from our surgery services, please speak with your family veterinarian about a referral.

Neurosurgery

NEUROSURGERY

Our Neurologists often collaborate with our surgeons in the treatment of conditions that are best managed with surgical intervention. Neurologic conditions that are treated surgically at OSVS include (but are not limited to):

  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Vertebral fractures/luxation
  • Cervical vertebral instability
  • Tumor resection from brain, spinal cord
  • Congenital Spinal Deformities

Minimally Invasive

Minimally invasive surgeries are procedures that utilize a small video camera within a long sterile tube. The camera can be inserted through a small skin incision and into a body cavity, such as the abdomen (laparoscopy), chest (thoracoscopy), or a joint (arthroscopy). The image obtained by the camera is displayed on a video monitor. This allows the surgeon to visualize the interior of the body cavity. Specialized surgical equipment can be introduced through tiny incisions as well, and the surgeon can watch the monitor and manipulate these instruments to perform various procedures.

LAPAROSCOPY AND THORACOSCOPY

In human medicine, minimally invasive surgical techniques are utilized for many common surgeries and are preferred because of the reduced post-operative pain and rapid recovery times they allow. In veterinary medicine, most major abdominal and thoracic surgeries are performed using standard surgical approaches, but there are many procedures that can be done safely and effectively using minimally invasive methods.

These might include:

  • Biopsies of internal organs—Obtaining a biopsy using laparoscopy allows the surgeon to visualize the abnormal organ or abdominal mass and biopsy the most abnormal area. This increases the chances of getting an accurate diagnosis. The surgeon can also monitor the biopsy site for bleeding and address this as needed.
  • Gastropexy—Some large breed dogs are at risk for a twisted stomach (gastric dilatation and volvulus, or GDV), which is a life-threatening emergency. Using laparoscopy, the stomach can be stitched to the body wall to prevent it from being able to rotate. Some dog owners choose to have this performed in high-risk dogs, especially if it can be combined with a spay.
  • Ovariohysterectomy/ovariectomy (spay)—These routine procedures can be performed using laparoscopy.
  • Chest surgeries including partial lung lobe removal (generally due to tumors) and pericardectomy (removal of the sac surrounding the heart if it is diseased).

ARTHROSCOPY

The use of the arthroscope allows the surgeon to visualize the inside of a joint without opening the joint up completely. Abnormalities that can be detected include:

  • Ruptured ligament or meniscus
  • Cartilage flap associated with Osteochondrosis dessicans
  • A small bone fragment that may have fractured into the joint
These damaged tissues can cause pain and lameness and need to be removed to provide comfort and full mobility for the patient. Arthroscopy allows the introduction of surgical instruments, guided by the video scope, which can be used to clean up the joint surfaces. The surgeon can also use the arthroscope to fully evaluate the joint to determine the best surgical plan and prognosis for various abnormalities.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LAPAROSCOPIC AND ARTHROSCOPIC SURGERY?

  • Smaller incisions
  • Reduced pain
  • Faster recovery time and shorter hospitalization
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Shortened anesthesia time
  • Better biopsy samples than needle aspirates or tru-cut biopsies
  • Reduced scar formation

DO YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

Please call Ocean State Veterinary Specialists to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons who has received additional training in this specialized area of veterinary surgery.

Surgical Oncology

The surgical treatment of cancer is truly a team effort. Your primary care veterinarian may identify the presence of a tumor and refer you to OSVS for treatment. The emergency doctors and internists determine what information is needed in order to know whether surgical removal of the tumor is possible and what the pet needs in the immediate phase of therapy.. The diagnostic imaging team may utilize our on site Ultrasound, CT scanner or MRI capabilities to determine the extent of the tumor and whether it is removable, and what other structures may create challenges for surgical removal. The surgeons utilize this information to remove as much of the tumor as possible while maintaining the safety of the patient. The oncologist then follows up the surgical treatment by determining subsequent medical therapies to limit regrowth or recurrence of the tumor. The excellent relationships our doctors have with one another, and with our referring veterinarians, allows your pet to truly have an entire cohesive team ensuring the best care possible.

Slide Pain Management Your pet's health and happiness is why we come in to work. Because of that commitment, we are passionate about pain management after surgery. We work to pre-empt pain before it sets in, and provide you with the medication and therapies to minimize any pain your pet experiences as much as possible. To learn more about pain management, please click the button below. Learn More Pain Management Your pet's health and happiness is why we come in to work. Because of that commitment, we are passionate about pain management after surgery. We work to pre-empt pain before it sets in, and provide you with the medication and therapies to minimize any pain your pet experiences as much as possible. To learn more about pain management, please click the button below. Learn More