Specifically, surgery means the cutting away of tissues. Your veterinarian may recommend surgery for several reasons. These include complete removal of a tumor, partial removal of a tumor, or exploration of a particular area to obtain a sample of tumor tissue and evaluate the extent of normal tissue involvement. In all cases, any tissue removed by surgery is submitted for biopsy (i.e., given to a pathologist to obtain a specific diagnosis).
NB: Please consider the overall health implications and risk:benefit whenever removing a tumor. Ask your veterinarian about the pros and cons of treatment vs. watchful waiting in each situation. Ask if this tumor is mainly cosmetic, e.g. a fatty but unsightly growth, or potentially life-threatening? As in most other veterinary medical situations, education is key.--Dr. Jeff
Please note: The information provided here is intended to supplement the recommendations of your veterinarian. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment based on information on this site. Nothing can replace a complete history and physical examination performed by your veterinarian. -Dr. Jeff