Advanced Techniques & Specialist Procedures

Advanced Techniques & Specialist Procedures

Since its establishment as the first veterinary school in the English-speaking world, the RVC has pioneered new veterinary techniques and procedures. We are at the forefront of advancements in veterinary surgery and medicine. Many treatments that our leading specialists pioneer eventually become established in veterinary services around the world, benefiting animals everywhere.

Advanced Technique


The RVC was the first veterinary centre in the UK to offer hypophysectomy surgery and has now been performing this unique procedure for many years.

Our specialists were the first clinicians in Britain to use the procedure to treat a cat with acromegaly. The surgery involves the removal of the pituitary gland and tumour and is indicated for animals for a specific brain tumour, a pituitary tumour.

The procedure is therefore indicated for cats with acromegaly and dogs and cats with Cushing’s (hyperadrenocorticism), as well as animals suffering from non-functional pituitary tumours.

Most acromegalic cats see their diabetes being cured after the procedure and dogs with Cushing’s do not need trilostane treatment any more.

Until veterinary specialists became proficient in hypophysectomy, the only treatment option available for cats and dogs in the UK with pituitary tumours was radiation therapy (and managing the diabetes mellitus in case of acromegaly). However, radiation therapy is frequently ineffective in such cases and managing diabetes is often extremely difficult and frustrating for both owners and vets; therefore a permanent surgical solution is clearly preferable.

Team working and aftercare

The hypophysectomy team at RVC small animal referrals is comprised of internal medicine specialists and veterinary neurosurgeons. Patients recovering from hypophysectomy surgery are supported by Emergency and Critical Care specialists.

The aftercare programme includes hormone replacement treatment through eye-drops and tablets to compensate for the pituitary gland’s removal.