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Progress towards less invasive veterinary surgery
  1. T. J. Parkinson, BVSc, DBR, DipECAR, MEd, PhD, FRCVS
  1. Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
  1. e-mail: t.j.parkinson{at}

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ONE of the most remarkable areas of advance in medical science over the past two or three decades has been the development of methodologies for surgical and diagnostic procedures that are markedly less invasive. Minimally invasive methods have become commonplace in many areas of human medical practice, particularly in soft tissue and neurosurgery (Pfluke and others 2010, Gandhi and Anderson 2012). In some areas of particularly delicate surgery, such as in paediatric and reconstructive surgery, robotic augmentation of minimally invasive techniques is being used to facilitate surgeons' learning of technically demanding procedures (Tomaszewski and others 2012). Although similar efforts to develop less invasive methods in orthopaedic surgery have yet to become as successful as those in soft tissue (eg, Smith and others 2010), past progress in soft tissue surgery would make it surprising if this goal was not eventually achieved. Overall, the benefits of making surgical interventions less invasive appear to be: reduced patient morbidity, shortened durations of hospitalisation, reduced wound contamination and breakdown, and shorter patient recovery periods (Robinson and others 2011).

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History, clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, outcome and a cross-sectional study of an infected alpaca herd

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