What is mass removal?
Masses are a common condition in pets. People usually notice new masses while petting their cat or dog or at the grooming. These masses can grow on the skin surface or in the subcutaneous space below the skin. While they can be benign, some could be cancerous or lead to other medical issues. All new masses should be investigated. You should bring your pet to your veterinarian for further testing and evaluation of any mass.
Why is it important?
If a mass or tumor is determined to be benign, the veterinarian may suggest just monitoring for changes in size or appearance. In the case of malignant tumors, surgical removal is often the recommended treatment. Staging may also be recommended to determine if there is metastasis to other areas of the body, which will further dictate if removal is warranted or not. Staging typically includes radiographs of the thorax and abdomen, and sometimes local lymph node evaluation. Depending on the size and location of the mass a specialty soft tissue surgeon may be recommended.
What does the procedure include?
If a mass removal surgery is required it will require sedation or general anesthesia to ensure your pet holds perfectly still (to eliminate movements that could result in injury), reducing their anxiety levels, and eliminating pain.
After the mass is removed, our veterinarian will send it to a laboratory for histopathology to analyze it and determine whether it is malignant or benign. The pathology review will also evaluate whether complete removal is achieved, what the prognosis is for that patient, and whether you need to monitor or address similar masses. Recovery from a mass removal is typically two weeks.