Rats are prone to tumors, commonly in the mammary glands and in the uterus. These tumors can be benign or malignant. Removing them as soon as they are noted makes for a much better prognosis.
This page has photos of an actual surgery to remove a mammary tumor. It was performed using the laser.
Graphic photos to follow.
In addition to the usual underside location of mammary tissue found in most mammals, rats have mammary tissue under the skin along the top and the sides of their bodies. If this extensive network of mammary tissue develops a tumor, the lump that is present can be found most anywhere on the trunk of the body. The following pictures show some of these locations:
This large tumor was almost inoperable.
Its hard to believe that someone would let a tumor get this large before they would bring their rat in for care.
This is a different rat from the one above. This rat is prepped for surgery to remove its large tumor.
Laser Mammary Surgery
This mammary tumor is in the armpit
The carbon dioxide laser is used for this surgery
There is no bleeding when making the skin incision
There is almost no bleeding at the actual tumor, even though tumors tend to have an extensive blood supply
The tissue that remains after the tumor is removed has no bleeding. This is important since small blood vessels that normally ooze blood and cause swelling when a scalpel and scissors is used are cauterized when using the laser. No blood means no hematoma and much greater patient comfort.
This lack of bleeding extends to the skin incision also.
Performing surgery with the carbon dioxide laser has obvious advantages for this and other surgeries. To learn more about the use of laser in surgery follow this link.