The Denise and Michael Kellen Institute for Surgical Care
About Surgery at AMC
The Denise and Michael Kellen Institute for Surgical Care specializes in safe and effective surgical procedures for dogs, cats, and other small animals. Our team works collaboratively with AMC’s other specialties to ensure holistic treatment that reduces pain and promotes rapid healing. Our highly trained and experienced veterinary surgeons are available 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide the best possible care to your pet.
The AMC Surgery Team
The AMC Surgery team features four board-certified surgeons supported by a full staff of residents, interns, criticalists, and licensed veterinary technicians. As an AMC patient, your pet benefits from the wide range of expertise that comes with having 20+ veterinary specialties under one roof. When planning surgical treatments, our surgeons often consult with board certified specialists in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Oncology, Radiology, Critical Care, and Pathology. In addition, our state-of-the-art Diagnostic Imaging Service and cutting edge Rehabilitation team help our patients recover safely and return to a high quality of life through post-operative therapy and monitoring.
Our orthopedic veterinary surgeons specialize in injuries of bones, joints, and the spine. We use state-of-the-art techniques – such as bone plating, pinning, and fixation devices – and work closely with our Integrative and Rehabilitative Medicine Service to provide a comprehensive approach to diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Our goal is to treat your pet safely and effectively and return them to high levels of mobility and quality of life.
Some common orthopedic procedures we perform at AMC include:
- Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery
- Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) and Total Hip Replacement (THR)
- Medial or Lateral Patella Luxation (MPL/LPL), or dislocated kneecap
- Cranial cruciate ligament rupture
- Fracture stabilization (shoulder, elbow, and knee)
- Arthroscopy and minimally invasive fracture repair
- Osteoarthritis treatment
- Musculotendinous injury treatment (strains, sprains, or trauma to soft tissue)
- Regenerative therapies, such as:
- Shockwave therapy
- Stem cell therapy
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment
AMC’s surgical oncologist, Dr. Katie Kennedy, is the only veterinary surgical oncologist in New York City and is one of only a handful of veterinary surgical oncologists worldwide. With Dr. Kennedy on staff, AMC can offer cats, dogs, and other animal patients comprehensive cancer care. Dr. Kennedy works with both the Surgery and Oncology services to coordinate treatment between surgical procedures, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. As a single treatment, surgery cures more animals with cancer than any other treatment, offering new hope for pets with cancer.
Soft Tissue Surgery
Soft tissue surgery treats diseases of the chest, abdomen, skin, and other soft tissues. When performing soft tissue procedures, AMC’s veterinary surgeons work closely with specialists in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Oncology, Neurology, Diagnostic Imaging, and Critical Care to find safe, effective, and minimally invasive therapies. This collaborative approach means your pet benefits from a range of medical and surgical expertise, ensuring the best possible care.
Some common procedures we perform include:
- Mass removal
- Laparoscopic spay
- Laparoscopic gastropexy
- Gastrointestinal surgery
- Brachycephalic syndrome surgery
- Lung tumor removal
- Liver mass removal
- Extrahepatic portosystemic shunt surgery
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Minimally invasive procedures use small incisions to surgically treat patients. Small incisions allow for quicker recovery times and less discomfort than conventional surgery. Whenever possible and medically appropriate, AMC opts for minimally invasive procedures for its patients. These procedures include:
- Arthroscopy: a surgical procedure used to examine and treat joint disease
- Fluoroscopy: a continuous x-ray that allows veterinarians to see an injured area in detail (often used with broken bones)
- Thoracoscopy: a procedure used to examine or biopsy the inside of the chest to help identify and treat certain heart and lung diseases
- Laparoscopy: a surgical tool used to view internal organs and treat certain conditions
- Interventional radiology and interventional endoscopy: these image-guided techniques help veterinarians diagnose and treat conditions in nearly every organ system
The surgical team works closely with AMC’s board-certified anesthesiologist to take a safe, effective, and holistic approach to anesthesia and pain management. We make sure to fully understand your pet’s medical history and condition before administering anesthesia or performing any procedure.
AMC’s team of veterinary dentists specialize in the treatment of many diseases, injuries, and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws, and the hard and soft tissues of the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaws and face) region. Some of the surgical procedures we perform in collaboration with AMC’s dentists include:
- Jaw fracture repair
- Surgical tooth extractions
- Fillings and restorations
- Treatment of gum disease
- Oral cancer surgery
AMC’s Diagnostic Imaging & Radiology Service uses advanced imaging techniques to assist the Surgery Service in surgical planning for companion animals. The department is led by two board-certified radiologists and employs state-of-the-art veterinary imaging technology, including:
- Radiography (x-ray)
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
The Surgery Service often supports AMC’s board-certified neurologists in neurosurgical procedures in dogs, cats, and other small animals. These surgeries treat spinal disease and conditions that cause back pain, paralysis, or lameness. Our Neurology Service is also on the cutting edge of veterinary brain surgery and tumor removal procedures.
The Surgery Service collaborates with board-certified specialists in veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation to help return dogs, cats, and other pets to improved levels of mobility and quality of life after surgery. The only facility of its kind in New York City, AMC’s Tina Santi Flaherty Rehabilitation & Fitness Service uses state-of-the-art therapies and innovative techniques to provide the best possible care.
Department Head of Surgery, Service Head of Surgical Service 3 | Pamela Schwartz, DVM, DACVS, CCRP
Director of Orthopedic and Joint Replacement Surgery, Service Head of Surgical Service 4 | Robert Hart, DVM, DACVS
Service Head of Surgical Service 2 | Daniel Spector, DVM, DACVS