Veterinary Neurology of the Chesapeake | Jay McDonnell, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM | Annapolis & Towson, MD

SonoCure: A Revolutionary Surgical Technology


ventral slot surgery using SonoCureVeterinary Neurology of the Chesapeake is the first veterinary practice in North America to use a revolutionary surgical technology previously restricted to the human medical field. The SonoCure ultrasonic aspirator combines the soft tissue dissection and tumor disruption of a CUSA with the ability to remove bone over critical soft structures.


According to Dr. Jay McDonnell, "The SonoCure is an exciting tool to have in our surgical arsenal. It preferentially removes tumorous tissue and leaves healthy tissue behind, preserving normal tissue."


Unlike the rotating shaft of a high-speed drill, SonoCure’s  LT (Longitudinal/ Torzional) bone curette is non-rotational and highly directional. It can be used in very delicate areas without danger of damaging adjacent structures with inadvertent contact. This is due to the unique design of the titanium tip. The tip has helical weaknesses grooved into the titanium that allow the end of the tip and cutting edge to torsion. The cutting edge torsions back at 25,000 cycles per second and allows for the fine dissection of bone with minimal pressure, while all other areas besides the cutting edge are atraumatic. The SonoCure accommodates a variety of interchangeable tips, including angled tips that make it easy for the surgeon to access different areas of the surgical field.


Dr. McDonnell continued, "I've used the SonoCure—which is sometimes called a 'tumor tool' or 'tumor vacuum'—directly over the venous sinus with no disruption of the sinus. It's especially helpful in removing bony tumors within the spinal column that are attached to spinal nerves, arteries and veins. The bone attachment can be used directly on these structures without harming them, while enabling us to actually sculpt the bone safely and quickly. There's published data showing that in dogs with meningiomas, treatment with the surgical aspirator resulted in the median survival time jumping from 300 days to 1,254 days. In many of these animals, there was no recurrence of tumor, but rather a secondary cause of death."*


While VNoC is the first U.S. practice to use this technology, the SonoCure has quickly become the standard of care in veterinary surgery in Japan where it was first introduced.


"We're making the tool available for use by other practices within CVRC," said Dr. McDonnell. "I can foresee it being used by the surgical specialists for bony tumors and by ophthalmologists for the removal of bony orbital tumors."


Photo above: Dr. McDonnell performs a ventral slot/herniated disc procedure using the SonoCure.


*For more on the published data, see Evaluation of intracranial meningioma resection with a surgical aspirator in dogs. For more on SonoCure, contact Dr. McDonnell at



Board Certified Veterinary Neurologist Dr. Jay McDonnell | Annapolis & Towson, MD