Dr Stanley Kim Turning Fearsome Fiddly Surgery Enjoyable

Does the surgical repair of an antebrachial fracture in a Chihuahua fill you with fear? Dr Stanley Kim, a Sydney graduate who’s been part of the furniture for 12 years at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, can turn that fear into fun and make that fearsome fiddly surgery enjoyable!

Like many vets, Dr Stanley Kim grew up with animals and had always admired the veterinary profession, but it was an orthopaedic research externship that he undertook as a veterinary student at the Surgical and Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, UNSW, that inspired Stan to follow a path into small animal surgical specialisation. Stan is still passionate about research in the veterinary orthopaedic domain; his research interests are in the field of minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery, fracture repair, joint replacement and orthopaedic biomechanics.

Florida has been Stan’s home since 2007, when he started a residency in small animal surgery at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, in Gainesville. After graduating from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (First Class Honours) in 2003, Stan spent a year in small animal practice in Sydney before heading overseas, initially doing locum work in the UK, and then to Canada where he completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph in 2005-2006.

Stan’s current role is Associate Professor, Small Animal Surgery at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida. As well as his research activities, Stan teaches both under- and post-graduate veterinary students at the University of Florida and has a clinical case load there.

Stan enjoys using highly detailed precisely crafted instrumentation for surgery to toy breeds, and at the University of Florida, routinely sees cases in these toy breeds with previous failed attempts at repair of antebrachial fractures. In Stan’s opinion, most of these could have been avoided with proper implants and good surgical technique. According to Stan, the challenges associated with repair of fractures in toy breeds include a higher risk of stripping screws and a smaller margin for error, and limited bone stock means you typically only have one good shot at repair. Another factor influencing success is that pound for pound, cats are stronger than dogs and therefore put more stress on the repair.

VetPrac believes that with the continued global trend towards smaller pets, the demand for newer technologies in fracture repair will only increase. There is no doubt that in Australia pets are getting smaller and the homes they live in are getting higher. While the fundamentals of orthopaedics don’t change, fractures in smaller animals have a unique set of considerations. We are also seeing newer technology in fracture management having a huge impact on the success of our surgeries and comfort of our patients. Smaller, lighter implants make a big difference to these tiny patients. Stan is the perfect specialist surgeon to teach Australian vets about orthopaedic surgery in this rapidly growing subset of our small animal patients. Stan has been recognised widely for his teaching prowess, and, in 2017, received the Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award.

Why not take advantage of a rare opportunity to share Stan’s vast knowledge and great teaching skills at the VetPrac Fine and Fiddly Fractures Workshop in Gatton on April 12-13, 2019. Stan is sure to equip you with invaluable skills to improve the outcomes of surgery in these toy breeds. Register TODAY. For more information, check out the brochure.

Dr Stanley Kim can be contacted at stankim@ufl.edu

Written by Alison Caiafa