Soft Tissue Surgery

Soft Tissue Surgeons deal with those areas of the body that orthopaedic surgeons and neurologists don’t (i.e. most things apart from bones).

This could be for routine or emergency surgery involving the skin, abdominal cavity, chest cavity or for treatment of masses/tumours.

Procedures undertaken include:

  • Abdominal surgery – surgery of the gastrointestinal tract, hepatic and biliary systems including portosystemic shunt treatment, splenectomy, adrenalectomy
  • Thoracic surgery – lung lobectomy, occlusion of patent ductus arteriosus, vascular ring anomalies, chylothorax, pericardiectomy, thymoma removal, diaphragmatic hernia repair
  • Urogenital surgery – nephrectomy, cystotomy, ectopic ureter, urethrostomy, prostatic surgery, treatment of urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence, ureteral bypass and SUB placement, laparoscopic neutering
  • Head and neck surgery – laryngeal tie-back, brachycephalic airway syndrome, tracheal collapse, total ear canal ablation, maxillofacial surgery, thyroid/parathyroid surgery, oesophageal surgery
  • Surgical oncology – staging, planning, surgery and reconstruction
  • Wound care and reconstruction

We are keen to perform laparoscopic/thoracoscopic (keyhole) surgeries when possible and when we feel it is an appropriate treatment for the patient. This includes laparoscopic neutering.


Our surgical and medical teams also offer a range of minimally invasive interventional radiology procedures for tracheal stenting, urethral stenting, management of ectopic ureters and incontinence and minimally invasive coil placement for management of intrahepatic shunts. Please see the interventional radiology page for further information.

As a referral service, staffed by recognised surgical specialists and service-dedicated veterinary nurses, we are able to provide a comprehensive range of diagnostic and management options for most soft tissue problems in dogs and cats. The advantage of working in a multi-disciplinary environment means each patient is assessed thoroughly with specialist input available from our anaesthetists, diagnostic imagers and internal medics when required.

We benefit from having a 24-hour staffed intensive care unit for when patients require a significant level of critical care before or after surgery.

If you are a referring veterinary surgeon and would like to discuss or refer a case, please contact our team. We will aim to reply as soon as possible.


What our clients say:

Alastair Kerr
Alastair Kerr
26 May 2024
The best place for great care for you pet.
karen hamilton
karen hamilton
21 May 2024
Our bernese mountain dog Merlin had issues with his gait and after physio exams and xrays from our own vet we were recommended to get an MRI. We decided to take him to Livingston rather than Glasgow based on reviews and we were not disappointed! The service and professionalism shown to us by all staff and especially Alexandra was unbelievable. She explained everything in layman terms for us so that we could fully understand what was happening with our boy. We arrived so anxious and we left with a full diagnosis and we can now get on with enjoying our boy. Thankyou so much to everyone 💓
fiona mccormack
fiona mccormack
11 May 2024
My dog was referred here by my vet after all other options had been covered. They were amazing and really looked after Buster. Sadly it wasn’t the outcome we wanted but I can’t fault anything about his treatment and the way the staff dealt with us through an incredibly difficult time. We were kept fully informed at all times and everything as very sensitively handled.
Gayle Mcdowell
Gayle Mcdowell
25 April 2024
All the staff are great and take fantastic care of my dog
Wendy Busby
Wendy Busby
16 April 2024
Our beloved dog Dougal was referred to VSS recently in a very poorly state. Tobias, Joni and the wonderful nursing team admitted him for some life saving surgery and critical care. We would have lost Dougal if it had not been for the skills and care of this team. The communication was clear and warm, but also was forthright and honest about Dougals chances. After nearly a week miraculously we got him home. He still needed care in his recovery and after what he went through I cannot quite believe how well he is doing. The updates from the team were just right, his condition explained each time and progress or risks discussed. Follow up caring communication has also been second to none. I would still say the same if the outcome had not been favourable, and wholeheartedly recommend the team that work in this incredible veterinary care service.
Janka Hudak
Janka Hudak
12 April 2024
Our journey with Veterinary Specialists Scotland began when our 8-month-old Papillon, Whisky, suffered a severe fracture to her front leg. The referral to Dr. Joni Viitanen and his team was a turning point during this emergency. From the moment we arrived, the response was both professional and deeply compassionate—they admitted Whisky immediately and made sure she was as comfortable as possible. Dr. Viitanen performed surgery the very next day, and during Whisky’s three-day stay, we felt she was in the best hands. The team was not only exemplary in their medical care but also in providing emotional support, making Whisky’s first time away from home as gentle as possible. They kept us well-informed throughout her treatment, always ready to answer our questions and calm our worries. The news that Whisky had completely healed after just seven weeks was a profound relief. Every staff member we encountered was incredibly supportive, ensuring that all administrative tasks, including the insurance claim, were handled smoothly. We are truly grateful to Dr. Viitanen and the entire Orthopaedic Team for their outstanding dedication. Their blend of professional expertise and heartfelt care made all the difference. We highly recommend Veterinary Specialists Scotland to anyone seeking exceptional care for their pets. Thank you for everything you’ve done for Whisky and for us.
John McKellar
John McKellar
22 March 2024
Recently took our dog Sparky to these guys and found the experience from reception staff to veterinary professional care brilliant.
Bill ferguson
Bill ferguson
9 March 2024
Very helpful and professional care team,could not fault any of the help we were given.
Bethany Rutherford
Bethany Rutherford
5 March 2024
My young dog was recently discharged after a long year of treatment at Veterinary Specialists Scotland. After an injury she required a carpal arthrodesis surgery and through no ones fault seemed to hit every bump in the road in the months to follow. The care she received was impeccable and Joni her surgeon was fantastic. During a really stressful and upsetting period of being a dog owner Joni was super helpful and patient. He kept us informed every step of the way. We knew the risks to every surgery and were able to make fully informed decisions about her care. Joni had our full trust and kept us reassured and confident that she would come out the other side with all four legs. I felt Joni and the team here were fully invested in my dogs recovery and wellbeing. We were kept up to date during her stays and kept in contact with after her discharges post treatment. I am glad to say that we are now on the other side after such a worrying year and my wee dog is loving being on the road back to her normal life. Thank you so much to everyone at Veterinary Specialist Scotland and a special thanks to Joni I am so grateful!

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Soft Tissue Surgery Facilities

Meet the Soft Tissue Surgery Team

Beatriz Belda


Clinician in Small Animal Surgery – Residency Trained

Brigite de Lima Dantas


Clinician in Small Animal Surgery

Alastair Franklin


Clinician in Small Animal Surgery

Sam Woods


Clinical Director/ Co-Founder/ Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Victoria Philp


Surgical Team Lead RVN

Laura Volpe


Surgical Lead RVN