Laser Surgery for LarPar
My almost 16 year old golden retriever is, I believe, starting to suffer from Laryngeal Paralysis.
Does anyone know of any surgeons that do the laser surgery for LarPar, other than Dr. Sadanaga in PA and the surgeon (sorry, don't have the name) in South Carolina?
Also, does anyone have any experience with this alternative?
For general information, here is a description of the procedure:
Dr. Sadanaga's procedure is an alternative to the tie-back. It is not just
the old-style "debarking procedure" but consists of two procedures done at
the same time: laser removal of the vocal cords to enlarge the airway
lumen (space), and fixation of the arytenoid cartilages to the thyroid
cartilages which have separate innervation. The result is that the dog
loses its "normal" voice, but the laryngeal architecture is otherwise
largely maintained and the larynx can still close when swallowing because
the arytenoid cartilages are now fixed to the thyroid cartilages and can
move with them. So the huge advantage is that the dog can still swim, and
the increased risk of aspiration pneumonia over that of a normal (non-LP)
dog is essentially zero. The resulting airway enlargement is not quite as
large as can be achieved with the tie-back, but it is more than sufficient
to allow the dog to breathe and cool off."
IMO, the best sources of info on the subject are the LP lists on Yahoo...I suspect you have been there, done that or else you wouldn't know about Sandanaga. When I considered Dr. Sandanaga's procedure for Diesel, I opted for tieback because of the travel distance and my desire to be near the surgeon in the event of complications. Diesel continued to get in the water after tie-back, but stayed in the shallows and waded rather than swam.
I wish you the very best of luck with whatever you decide. Your dog is lucky to have you!
One of my Labs developed Lar Par around 13 or 14. I chose not to do surgery at her age--managed it by keeping her cool, out of the heat and humidity. When she had a bad spell, I gave her predinsone to help. She was 17 when we lost her.
I personally would not do surgery on a 16-yr old dog. A friend of mine just had the tie back done on her 12-yr old, and in a few months, both tie backs have failed. There is also a high incidence of aspiration pneumonia in dogs that have the surgery.
Sometimes it is not possible to manage LP without having a negative impact on the dog's quality of life. Diesel was 12 years old when he had unilateral tie back surgery by the soft tissue specialists at the N.C. State Vet school. He had no complications whatsoever and the surgery gave him a good quality of life for a number of years before he succumbed to cancer and congestive heart failure.
Laryngeal Paralysis is generally a disease of older dogs, so age is always a consideration. I believe it is important to choose a surgeon who routinely performs LP surgery and has done it many, many, many times. Dr. Sandanaga is certainly well qualified in that regard, and his procedure reportedly has a much reduced risk of post-op complications.
But, back to Barb's original question, I do not know of any other surgeons currently offering the alternative procedure.
Mine has it now& I lost one last year to it. I have checked into 'normal 'surgery I would be interested in this laser type.
There are two very good laryngeal paralysis discussion groups..much experience (and strong opinions) to be found at these links
Thanks for the replies. I did join the yahoo LP group, and have gotten some great advice from them.
I can't seem to find much information on the laser surgery, however. It seems like it might be a decent option for such an old girl. Unfortunately, Dr. Sadanaga is 10 hours away from me.