Surgical Services

The surgical area in the Center for Comparative Medicine and Surgery (CCMS) consists of two fluoroscopic catheterization (cath) labs and one operating (OR) suite. We use the cath labs for cardiovascular studies. The operating suite is available to all large animal principal investigators with a Mount Sinai active protocol. Please submit a Procedure Request Form to the OR Supervisor a week in advance of your surgical date in order to reserve the room. We sanitize rooms after each use. We do not schedule surgeries on Fridays to provide time for extensive cleaning and restocking of the surgical suite.


Our surgical facility is under the direct veterinary oversight of Hylton Gordon, DVM, MA. Daily operations are supervised by operating room supervisor, Ronald Primm, BS, LATG. The basic provision of postoperative care is the responsibility of the CCMS veterinary medical staff. The clinical veterinarian determines the postoperative treatment plan in conjunction with the plan approved by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, but the clinical veterinarian  can make changes as necessary. We inform the investigator of any changes, so that experimental variables do not compromise our veterinary care. We encourage investigators to participate in the care and may be required to share in after-hours and weekend care on occasion.

Presurgical Planning

All principal investigators (PIs) must meet with a CCMS veterinarian prior to performing surgery on large animals (nonrodent mammalian species). PIs must complete and file a CCMS Surgery Questionnaire  prior to scheduling surgery in the facility. This form addresses equipment needs, preoperative animal preparations, anesthesia, and potential postoperative complications.

The PI must certify that each person involved in the surgery is appropriately trained and qualified for the role. Experience must be documented on the IACUC protocol form. When the PI has little or no documented experience, we anticipate that you will either work with an experienced staff member for the first several surgeries or perform pilot surgeries. The operating room supervisor or another member of the veterinary staff will monitor the first few procedures of inexperienced PIs. We assign a veterinary technician to each anesthesia case and that person remains with the animal from the time of induction to extubation/recovery. We schedule large animal surgeries one week in advance to allow for adequate preparation. Our clinical veterinarian meets weekly with the operating room technical staff to review new surgical questionnaires and ensure understanding of new procedures.

Postsurgical Actions

Our veterinary staff and the PI share responsibility for providing postoperative care to large animals. We keep all postoperative animals in the recovery room until the facility veterinarian determines that they can return to normal housing. Nonhuman primates recover in the operating room and returned to their regular housing rooms on the order of the facility veterinarian.

We maintain a Post-op Medical Record for each large animal. Upon completion of treatment, the veterinarian examines the animal and makes recommendations for continued treatment or removal from clinical rounds. We keep the records for each animal in our permanent files.