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If your dog or cat needs surgery there are often 3 choices for obtaining care. First, your general practice veterinarian may be comfortable performing the surgery your patient needs. However, in some cases your general practitioner may advise referral to a veterinary specialist. In this situation you travel to another facility and consult with a specialist at  a referral hospital, just as is done when a human needs surgery. A third option is to have a “mobile” surgeon come perform the surgery at the general practitioner’s veterinary hospital, in the general practitioner’s operating room.  This is referred to as mobile surgery. 

What are the Advantages + Disadvantages of Mobile Surgery? 

Like everything, there are both pros and cons of mobile surgery and pet owners, the general practice veterinarians, and the surgeon, should consider these factors when deciding what is in the patient’s best interest.


Before enumerating those pros and cons as they pertain to patient care, one of the first things that owners should consider is what constitutes a surgeon. That information is available here.

Benefits of mobile surgery include:

  1. Integration. Care for the patient is integrated more closely between your veterinarian and the surgeon as there is direct, face-to-face communication between the general practitioner and surgeon on the treatment plan as opposed to reports through email, fax, and phone calls. 

  2. Convenience. Pet owners can acquire care through their established general practice without traveling to another facility. This includes the post-operative rechecks, all of which are also completed at the general practice by the general practice veterinarian (with input from Kansas City Canine Orthopedics).  

  3. Financial Savings. Mobile surgery may be less expensive for the pet owner than visiting a specialty hospital. The general practice hospital may benefit financially by being able to provide ancillary services including anesthesia, X-rays, hospitalization, medication, and other services.

Disadvantages of mobile surgery include:

  1. Operating Room Specifications. The operating room (OR) in many general practices (and some specialty hospitals) are not constructed or used in a way that is ideal for state-of-the-art orthopedic surgery. The ideal OR for orthopedic surgery is one in which only orthopedic procedures are performed and positive pressure ventilation is present as both factors may reduce infection risk.

  2. Shared Responsibilities. When you see a surgeon at a referral hospital, the responsibility for the physical exam, diagnostics, anesthesia, surgery, post-operative plan and rechecks is largely encompassed at one point of care by the surgeon. With mobile surgery there is division (and some overlap) of these responsibilities between the general practitioner and surgeon.  

With those considerations stated, Kansas City Canine Orthopedics is excited to partner with you and your veterinarian to provide care for your canine or feline companion. At the current time we are providing mobile surgical service and in the near future (Spring 2022), we will also be offering surgery at our new facility. Our goal is to provide options so that all general practitioners and pet owners can choose the care that best suits the patient. In either scenario, we are eager to provide assistance and are committed to obtaining a successful outcome!  


How Can We Help? 

If you are interested in using our mobile surgical services, please contact your general practice veterinarian and inquire if they are willing to partner with us in providing care for your dog or cat. If your veterinarian does not partner with us, but you would still like us to provide care for your companion, please contact us at or 913-912-2450.

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