Lucy - Cardiac tumor

"Take another little piece of my Heart"


Shorter version:

Lucy collapsed due to pressure on her heart caused by bleeding from a tumor on the outer wall of her right atrium.

Following removal of the fluid and a thorough work-up, I took Lucy to surgery and removed the tumor, along with a full-thickness chunk of her heart, and re-sealed her heart without complication.

Up and walking within 12 hours post-op, Lucy went home after monitoring for 2 more days, and at her 2 week recheck her only complaint was that she was itchy from allergies!

Longer version:

Lucy is a 12 year old Labrador retriever who developed sudden weakness and collapse.

Chest radiographs (x-rays) showed an enlarged, rounded heart, and echocardiogram (ultrasound/sonogram of the heart) identified fluid around the heart and a mass on the right atrium (one of the chambers in her heart).

The fluid was drained to take the pressure off the heart, and Lucy was rapidly feeling better.

Abdominal ultrasound (and the previous radiographs) did not show evidence of any additional tumors elsewhere in her internal organs.

Computed Tomography (CT) confirmed the mass to be at the base of the right auricular appendage (a thinner walled portion of the right atrium), which made it potentially resectable (surgically removable).


I took Lucy to surgery and removed the pericardial sac (to visualize the tumor and to prevent any further fluid build-up from putting pressure on the heart in case the tumor could not be removed).

I then used a special vascular stapler to remove the tumor along with a full thickness 5 mm section of the auricle around the tumor, achieving a clean margin and re-sealing her heart.
And without a drop of hemorrhage being lost from her heart

Lucy was up and walking within 12 hours of surgery (dogs are tough!). After monitoring for two more days, we sent Lucy home, and she has done very well.

At her two week recheck, Lucy was playful and happy. Her chief complaint was that she was itchy from her allergies.

Click for more information on cardiac tumors.

Please schedule an appointment with our board-certified surgeon, Dr. Jeff Christiansen at the clinic of your choice, to evaluate your pet and to discuss options to improve your pet's or patient's length and quality of life.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to e-mail Dr. Christiansen directly.


Superior Veterinary Surgical Solutions

Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital - (321) 752-7600

Please ask for Dr. Christiansen specifically to make sure you see me!


Read What Our Clients Say

  • "My Labradoodle, LuLu, needed knee surgery. Her health is my top priority, so I researched Veterinary Surgeons, and Dr. Christiansen was highly recommended to me. My experience with him has been wonderful, and Lulu loves him. His demeanor with her was so compassionate, you could really see how much he cares about animals.

    Lulu is fully recovered from her surgery, yet I still look to Dr. Christiansen as a source of advice and expertise regarding Lulu's well being."
    Debbie Arluck - Palm Bay, Florida