Minimally Invasive Procedures


Why Should I Bring my Pet to Willows for an Interventional Procedure?

Willows has a wide range of equipment and expertise to deliver a number of interventional procedures. Our Specialist Cardiology team are the most experienced Interventional Cardiology team in the UK. In addition, Andrew Kent, Specialist in Internal Medicine, has significant additional training in interventional procedures, both in the USA and with human interventionalists in the UK. Andrew has particular interests in endourology, respiratory and gastrointestinal procedures, and is the only clinician in the UK performing endoscopic biliary interventions.

Chris Shales, Specialist in Soft Tissue Surgery, has also undergone additional training in interventional radiology, as well as being a hugely experienced Soft Tissue Surgeon. Willows’ Specialist Orthopaedic team have over 15 years’ experience in arthroscopic treatment of several different joint conditions.


What is an Interventional Procedure?

Interventional procedures cover a wide range of techniques that have evolved to treat diseases that were previously untreatable and/or to treat diseases in a much less invasive and risky way. This is a rapidly evolving area of surgery which Willows is proud to be at the forefront of, offering a number of treatments that are not offered anywhere else in the UK.


What can I Expect if my Pet is Referred for a Minimally Invasive Procedure?

Many techniques use a combination of fluoroscopy (moving X-rays) and endoscopy (flexible or rigid steerable cameras) to access an area of the body and deliver a treatment under general anaesthesia. Access can be obtained through a natural opening (mouth, airway, urinary tract etc.) or through the skin into a blood vessel or body cavity (percutaneous).

These procedures are often treated with a multi-disciplinary approach involving Specialists from our Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Diagnostic Imaging, and Soft Tissue Surgery teams.

Fig 1: Minimally invasive interventional procedures


What are the Most Common Conditions Treated?



A number of heart conditions can be treated using an interventional approach, including:

  • Closure of abnormal blood vessels (patent ductus arteriosus)
  • Stretching narrowed blood vessels (balloon dilatation of pulmonic stenosis)
  • Treatment of abnormal heart rhythm (pacemaker implantation).



Key-hole surgery has been utilised at Willows for some time for neutering female dogs, biopsying organs and exploring body cavities for disease.