Dr Peter Delisser has always been interested in using his hands to make and fix things, so it wasn’t surprising that within a few years of graduating, his interest in veterinary science quickly turned to all things surgical. He particularly likes the surgeries he can do and immediately see a difference, like urogenital surgery.

Pete is joining the VetPrac education team this year at the Perineal and Urogenital Surgery Workshop at Gatton on August 24-25th August, and we can’t wait to share his passion for urogenital surgery.

In the meantime, let’s get to know Pete a little better:

What inspired you to become a veterinarian and then go onto specialize in surgery?

I have always been interested in the ability to use my hands to make things and fix things. My initial interest in veterinary science has always been based on my interest in the surgical side of things. Ever since seeing a radius/ulnar fracture repair at a family friend’s veterinary practice and watching this dog go from non-ambulatory to ambulatory the following day, I knew I wanted a large part of my working life to be doing something similar. General practice did not provide the surgical caseload I was after, so this is why I pursued surgical specialisation.

Do you have a favourite surgery or procedure that you like to perform?

Like everyone, I like the surgeries I can do and immediately see a difference. For example, performing surgery on an incontinent dog with ectopic ureters and seeing an immediate improvement in the level of continence. Similarly, I also love a nice challenging fracture repair where the dog can quickly use its leg postoperatively, where it was non-weight bearing preoperatively.

In your own words, what is it about perineal and urogenital surgery that you find interesting and that you believe general practitioners would benefit from learning from and performing better?

The perineal region is an area with clear and important anatomy and understanding this underlying anatomy is key to achieving successful outcomes with all urogenital and perineal surgery. General practitioners should hopefully leave this course with a greater understanding of the perineal and urogenital anatomy, including neurovascular supply and functional relevance and contribution to the diseases we commonly see.

What practical surgical tips that you learned from experience would you share with general practitioners?

Be gentle. Remember Halsted’s principles. Use atraumatic forceps (Debakey’s) or stay sutures when handling urothelium.

Tell us a little about your PhD project.

I studied the response of bone cells to mechanical loading and how that response is adversely affected in bone of old animals. It was primarily a research topic aimed at characterising the deficient response to mechanical loading in elderly people, in efforts to control the incidence of osteoporosis and improve treatment options by providing better/additional therapeutic targets.

In your opinion, what makes a great workplace?

The people. You can have excellent facilities, but without people who you work well with and enjoy being around, these facilities mean little. (Having the toys is also somewhat essential for a surgeon…)

What do you like to do for fun? How do you spend your days off?

Back in the day, my days off involved outdoor pursuits (e.g. hiking and skiing) and catching up with mates at the pub. Now I have kids, most of my spare time is spent playing with them! When they’re a bit older, I hope I can convert them to the wonders of hiking and skiing.

To learn more about perineal surgery from Pete and maybe even share an ale with him at the workshop dinner (for old times’ sake) why not register HERE for the Perineal and Urogenital Workshop at Gatton on August 24-25, 2018.

Dr Peter Delisser can be contacted at
Veterinary Specialist Services – Underwood
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (07) 3841 7011
Fax: (07) 3841 7022

Written by Alison Caiafa