At Your Service

  The minimally invasive surgery team at Tufts’ Foster Hospital for Small Animals includes: 
Dr. John Berg

John Berg, DVM

John Berg, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS

Professor, Small Animal Surgery
Dr. Berg is board certified surgeon and a 1981 graduate of Colorado State University. He completed his internship at Cornell in 1982, and his small animal surgery residency at Colorado State in 1985. He spent a year in private practice before joining the faculty at Tufts University as a small animal soft tissue surgeon in 1987. He specializes in surgical oncology, and since 1998 has served as Continue reading


Small incision for BURP

FIGURE 1: A small skin incision used to transect the ulnar insertion of the biceps brachii muscle

Arthroscopic Biceps Ulnar Release Procedure (BURP) For Dogs with Medial Coronoid Disease 

Robert J. McCarthy, DVM, MS, DACVS 

Canine elbow dysplasia (CED) refers to a complex collection of developmental conditions of the elbow seen most frequently in large breed dogs.  Breeds most frequently affected in the United States include Newfoundlands, Rottweilers, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Continue reading

Clinical Case Challenge

Minimally Invasive Surgery Case Challenge

Shanti Jha, DVM, Resident in small animal surgery
Michael Kowaleski, DVM, DACVS, Associate Professor of Surgery  

Background: Boomer, a 7 year old, CM chocolate Labrador retriever was evaluated to determine the cause of chronic right forelimb lameness of 3 months duration.  The lameness was not responsive to medical management consisting of rest of 4 weeks duration and NSAID treatment.  

Gait evaluation revealed mild right forelimb lameness at a walk, and moderate lameness at a trot.  Physical examination revealed mild elbow effusion, and discomfort with elbow flexion and extension, particularly with supination, as well as pain with shoulder flexion and extension.  

Radiographs of the right elbow were obtained (Figures 1 A, B, and C).  

  • What is your radiographic interpretation, and what if any, further workup would you suggest for Boomer?  
  • What medical or surgical treatment options would you recommend?  
  • What is the prognosis for this condition? 

  Continue reading

Current Concepts

Minimally Invasive Surgery: Surgery with Less Pain

Robert J. McCarthy, DVM, MS, DACVS    

“I learned a long time ago that minor surgery is when they do the operation on someone else, not you”              

-Bill Walton of the Boston Celtics              

Philippe Bozzini, father of minimally invasive surgery

Philippe Bozzini, father of minimally invasive surgery, described in the early 1800s an examination with a "lichtleiter." (Image courtesy

History and Rationale

 Although still in its infancy in veterinary medicine, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has been performed in humans since the early 1800’s, when Bozzini described examination of the bladder and rectum with an instrument referred to as a “lichtleiter”. . While initially used sparingly, and only as a diagnostic tool, operative MIS gained explosive popularity after description of the first laparoscopic cholecystectomy in 1985. It is estimated that a staggering 600,000 laparoscopic cholecystectomies are now performed annually in the United States alone! MIS has now been investigated as an option to replace almost every imaginable open surgical procedure in humans.              

Colleagues have argued to me that if you add up the length of all the stab wounds for a MIS procedure, they could do the same intervention through an open approach. The lack of understanding is that it is not the total length of the incision that causes the trauma, but rather Continue reading