Soft palate surgery. Typically the elongated soft palate is shortened (soft palate resection) to create more room at the back of the throat and improve airflow. This is usually performed in conjunction with a palatine tonsillectomy. Sometimes it is necessary to modify this procedure in dogs with severely thickened soft palates in order to reduce their thickness (folded-flap palatoplasty).
Laryngeal sacculectomuy. Everted laryngeal saccules are routinely removed. If your pet has more advanced laryngeal collapse, further laryngeal surgery is sometimes required.
What are the risks and benefits of surgery, and what are the outcomes following surgery?
Anaesthetising and operating on the nose and throat does unfortunately carry some risk in these patients. At Swift we have extensive experience in the surgical management of these dogs, as well as a 24-7 dedicated ICU, which goes a long way to minimising the risk to your pet.
Most dogs that undergo corrective surgery will have substantially improved respiratory function. This means they will be much more able to cope with exercise, stress and heat, and the risk of serious complications such as heat stroke and collapse are reduced. We will usually also see a reduction or resolution in the sleeping disorders and gastro-intestinal signs commonly seen in these patients.
Some dogs, particularly those with advanced laryngeal disease, may continue to have symptoms following surgery and in some instances further interventions will be necessary. This emphasises the benefit of early recognition, diagnosis and treatment of BOAS in these patients. If you think your pet suffers from BOAS then you can ask your vet to refer your pet to us.