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Sunstone Veterinary Specialists Sunstone Veterinary Specialists

Phone (503) 505-7255 Address Portland, OR Email

SurgeryWhat to Expect

Vet surgery visit Portland

At Sunstone Veterinary Specialists, our goal is to provide your pet with exceptional surgical care in a warm, welcoming, and comfortable environment. Our compassionate surgeon, Dr. Su, is experienced in completing a wide range of surgical procedures with warmth and professionalism.

Initial Appointment

During your initial appointment, many steps are taken to accurately diagnose your pet. Visits typically consist of the following:

  • Pertinent medical history review
  • Examination and consultation
  • Diagnostic tests and procedures, such as x-ray, ultrasound, or bloodwork

At Sunstone Veterinary Specialists, we understand the importance of client education. Dr. Su will always discuss her findings and provide recommendations. We work hard to develop a treatment plan that best fits each family.

Medical History Review

Before your pet’s initial consultation, our surgeon will complete a thorough review of your pet’s pertinent medical history, including x-ray, other advanced imaging, and notes from your primary care veterinarian or emergency veterinarian. A comprehensive review of your pet’s recent medical history helps our surgeon accurately diagnose your pet’s condition.

Examination and Consultation

During your initial consult, our surgeon will perform a comprehensive physical examination. Checking your pet by touch and observing his or her behavior helps Dr. Su and her team formulate a customized diagnostic and treatment plan for your pet.

Blood Test and Urinalysis

Blood and urine tests are commonly performed before surgery to ensure that your pet is healthy and ready for the procedure. Sample collection is quick, easy, and relatively pain-free. In many instances, your primary veterinarian has already run these tests and can provide us with the results.

X-ray and Ultrasound

Diagnostic imaging is important in preparing for surgery and monitoring recovery. These tools allow us to look inside the body in a non-invasive fashion and provide us with detailed pictures of your pet’s organs, tissues, and bones. Two common types of imaging are x-ray and ultrasound, both of which are available at our clinic.

X-ray imaging gives us an overall picture of your pet’s soft tissue structures and bones. These images are critical for identifying surgery location and technique. Because of their importance, sedation is often necessary so that our surgery team can obtain the best images with the least amount of stress for your pet.

Advanced Imaging

Advanced imaging, such as CT or MRI, is important for differentiating structures in three dimensions or gaining specific detail of a bone or soft tissue. If your pet requires advanced imaging, our surgical team works with a community of diagnostic centers who can complete these types of imaging procedures.

Surgery, Recovery, and Rehabilitation

The procedure itself also involves many steps that ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable before, during, and after surgery, including:

  • Anesthesia and analgesia management
  • Post-operative recovery
  • Rehabilitation

At Sunstone, we value client education. We always provide you with updates on your pet’s surgery and recovery, as well as follow-up appointments to ensure that recovery is going smoothly.


Your pet’s comfort and safety are our highest priority during surgery, which is why use anesthesia for all our procedures. Just like in human surgeries, we perform several important measures to prepare your pet for anesthesia and track its effect throughout the procedure. These include:

  • Pre-operative examination and bloodwork to confirm your pet can tolerate the anesthesia
  • Continuous monitoring by one of our experienced, licensed veterinary technicians


At Sunstone, our goal is a safe and quick recovery for your pet, which is why we provide the type of individualized care that we would want for our very own pets. Following surgery, we provide overnight care for your pet. This allows us to monitor your pet’s reaction to medications, manage pain effectively, and ensure there are no complications.

During your pet’s overnight stay, our dedicated veterinary nurses and staff treat your pet as one of their own. We know your pet would rather be at home with you, the person they love, but rest assured we do our best to be their stand-in family while at Sunstone.

To ensure your pet has a comfortable, safe, and positive experience at our hospital, we ask you to fill out a nursing care preferences sheet. This sheet includes questions about habits and preferences your pet has, such as:

  • Let us know how your pet is the most comfortable sleeping. We’ll make every effort to make them comfortable.
  • Please let us know how your pet likes their food prepared. Don’t worry, we are accustomed to ‘special orders’
  • Share any words, phrases, or commands your pet understands. This will make it easier for us to communicate with them while they are hospitalized.

We then use the information as a guide to understanding your pet and caring for him or her in a meaningful way. Regardless of how your pet likes to sleep or when he or she likes to take a walk, we do everything we can to make their stay with us as stress free as possible while they get the medical care and attention they need following surgery.


Surgery itself is only part of the picture. Rehabilitation and post-operative therapy help your pet recover quickly and safely. All pets can benefit from a post-operative rehabilitation plan, especially those who undergo orthopedic surgery or neurosurgery.

Dr. Su is certified in canine rehabilitation and has additional training in acupuncture. She has a special interest in post-operative recovery and is committed to helping your pet return to his or her healthy self. Her rehabilitation services include:

  • Post-operative recovery planning
  • Chronic osteoarthritis management
  • Chronic pain management

Our surgical team is committed to providing the very best care for your pet. Contact us today to learn more about our surgical procedures or to schedule an appointment.

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