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Patient Spotlight: LEXIE  

10 year Lexie had a mineralized tumor spanning the right 7th-8th rib that had developed in the last month.
A needle aspirate ("needle biopsy") showed that it looked to be of cartilage origin (bone tumors can develop in the ribs, and they are much more aggressive), but could not confirm whether it was cancerous or benign.
Additionally, Lexie had a gall bladder mucocele (a condition where the bile becomes gelatinous and can obstruct the bile ducts) that had continued to worsen despite aggressive medical management over 6 months.
Long-story (relatively) short, as the tumor seemed to be rapidly growing, I removed a full thickness section of chest wall, including 4 ribs. To close the defect in the chest wall, I cut free that side of the diaphragm and advanced it to the front edge of the resection site, which closed off the chest cavity.
This advancement put the gall bladder right in my field of view, so I could remove that from the same approach...no need for a second incision into the abdominal midline.
A combination of muscle advancements closed the abdominal wall, and -- with some aggressive pain management and 48 hours of around the clock nursing care at Island Animal Hospital -- our sweet Lexie has been back home eating, drinking, and feeling good with her loving owners since Thursday.
Biopsy results indicated the tumor to be a low grade chondrosarcoma, which should be cured by the aggressive resection.
With the gall bladder issue resolved as well, Lexie will hopefully be able to look forward to the rest of her life!
Please schedule an appointment with our board-certified surgeon, Dr. Jeff Christiansen at the clinic of your choice, to discuss hernias and surgery to improve your pet or patient's length and quality of life
If you have additional questions, please feel free to e-mail Dr. Christiansen directly.