One of the UK’s top animal hospitals has significantly enhanced its neurosurgery capabilities by investing in a £20,000, state-of-the-art surgical microscope.

Our award-winning hospital Paragon Veterinary Referrals, in Wakefield, has become the first practice in Yorkshire, and one of few in the UK, to introduce the technology.

Paragon’s head of neurology, Massimo Mariscoli, said the Zeiss OPMI CS NC-2 neurosurgical microscope will deliver better results and recoveries for pets and improve the health and well-being of the surgeons using it.

He said it had already improved the referral hospital’s ability to deal with complex spinal and brain surgeries.

Massimo, who is an EBVS and RCVS specialist in veterinary neurology said: “The operative microscope is an essential piece of equipment in the modern neurosurgical theatre.

“It delivers good magnification, good illumination without significant aberration or production of excessive heat and has a great internal stability which allows operational flexibility.

“There is also direct visual control of the instrumentation with the possibility to have magnifications up to 10 times with a good depth of field allowing a more natural three-dimensional vision.

“In addition, surgical microscopes allow multiple different magnifications while maintaining constant working distances which leads to excellent flexibility and versatility during surgical procedures.

“For example, low magnification is used during the drilling of the vertebral laminar or the skull and to ensure that the whole surgical field is clean before suturing the muscle layers.

“Higher magnification is used while dealing with delicate structures such as the spinal cord or brain.

“The higher magnification coupled with a good depth of view and stable three-dimensional vision also increases the security and safety when manipulating micro-surgical instruments near the nervous tissue.”

Massimo said that while the microscopes are not common in veterinary practices, he strongly believes they are an essential piece of equipment when dissecting close to the brain or spinal cord in small animals.

“We are confident the use of this tool will continue to promote progress to the benefit of our pets, which deserve the very best treatment available for their neurological conditions,” he added.

He said veterinary surgeons will also benefit from the introduction of the surgical microscope.

“The operative neurosurgical microscope is fixed to a self-levelling tripod, allowing multiple spatial configuration to ensure a perfect vision of the surgical field,” said Massimo.

“This has a positive outcome on the health and well-being of the surgeons, with a 2013 study showing that, for nearly 85 per cent of the time spent operating, surgeons have symmetrical, non-neutral, head-neck posture.”

Paragon provides multi-disciplinary small animal care including anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery.

For more information on Paragon Veterinary Referrals, visit

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