An understanding of surgical principles is necessary before operating on a bird. Even though there are many anatomical and physiological differences between birds and mammals, surgical principles and techniques remain similar. As discussed in Chapter 28, Analgesia and Anaesthesia, birds are prone to anaesthetic complications associated with pain perception, hypothermia, hypovolaemia and hypoxia. These anaesthetic complications are closely linked with surgical principles. In order to maximise surgical success, the following principles must be understood and applied:

Minimise haemorrhage.

Minimise tissue trauma.

Minimise anaesthetic time.

Minimise anaesthetic and metabolic complications.

Provide postsurgical support and analgesia.