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Who We Are

Veterinary Surgical Centers (VSC) is a progressive veterinary specialty practice working in multiple locations serving all of Northern Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. VSC provides a wide variety of surgical and related services, including: orthopedic, soft tissue, minimally invasive and physical rehabilitation. VSC consists of board-certified specialists, residents and interns, and certified rehabilitation practitioners along with a highly trained and compassionate staff.

Department Contact Information

Phone: 703-242-6000
Fax: 703-242-4770

How We Work

To ensure your pet receives the correct treatment necessary for his or her wellbeing, VSC works closely with your veterinarian by providing continual updates and access to records while your pet is in our care.

By partnering with The Hope Center, you and your pet can enjoy the benefit of around the clock care, seven days a week. This guarantees peace of mind for you knowing that you can call any time and request an update. We understand how difficult it is to leave your pet but rest assured we are dedicated to keeping you well informed and up-to-date on his or her status. With VSC, both you and your primary veterinarian are considered part of the team.

The ultimate priority of VSC is the health and well-being of your pet. As both veterinary professionals and dedicated pet owners, compassion and progressive technical expertise are the hallmarks of our practice. Our goal is to provide very patient with the highest quality of life possible.

Services We Provide

  • Orthopedic Surgery
    • Ruptured Cruciate Ligaments
    • Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy
    • Tibial Tuberosity Advancement
    • Total Hip Replacement
    • Medial Patellar Luxation
    • Fracture Repair
  • Neurosurgery
    • Intervertebral Disc Disease
    • Craniotomy
    • Spinal and Skull fractures
    • Cauda Equina Syndrome
    • Brain and Spinal Cord Trauma
    • Wobbler’s Syndrome
    • Ventriculo-Peritoneal Shunting
    • Atlanto-Axial Stabilization
    • Chiari Malformation Surgery
  • Medical Neurology
    • Seizure Management
    • Vestibular Disease
    • Neuromuscular Disease
    • CNS (Central Nervous System) Inflammatory Disease
    • Spinal Cord Lesions as Indicated
    • Pain Management
  • Soft Tissue Procedures
    • Laryngeal Paralysis
    • Upper Airway Surgeries
    • Portosystemic Shunts
    • Foreign Bodies
    • Hernia Repair
    • Severe Burn Management
    • Mass/Tumor Removal
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
    • Arthroscopy
    • Laparoscopy
    • Thoracoscopy
    • Tracheal, Urethral and Ureteral Stent Placement
    • Fracture Repair
  • Physical Rehabilitation and Pain Management Services
    • Underwater and Land-Based Treadmill Exercise
    • Therapeutic Ultrasound
    • Electro-Stimulation
    • Laser Therapy
    • Therapeutic Massage, Stretching and Range of Motion
    • Proprioception and Balance Exercise
    • Neuromuscular Re-education
    • Cold and Heat Therapy
    • Pain Management
    • Acupuncture
    • Orthotics, Prosthetics and Assistance Devices

Why Choose VSC

  • Our surgeons have a broad range of skills and VSC has the most full time, board-certified surgeons on staff of any referral practice in Northern Virginia.
  • Patients receive 24-hour care from a veterinarian, 7 days a week.
  • State-of-the-art facilities and equipment are available to perform surgeries.
  • We utilize the most advanced diagnostic imaging available including MRI, CT scan and fluoroscopy.
  • Physical rehabilitation is part of our standard of care.

Expanding Capabilities Through Research

Founder and Chief of Surgery, Dr. Anke Langenbach, has nurtured a culture that is forward thinking and dedicated to improving the surgical options available to companion animals. Thus, at any given time you will likely find VSC actively involved in research or clinical studies for the advancement of a particular procedure or condition. VSC staff are also active in publishing and presenting in the U.S. and abroad.


  • Anke Langenbach, Dr Med Vet, Diplomate ACVS & ECVS; VSC Owner and Chief Surgeon

    Dr. Anke Langenbach, owner and Chief Surgeon, is a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons. She earned her veterinary degree in 1992 from the University of Munich, College of Veterinary Medicine in Germany. Dr. Langenbach was awarded a scholarship allowing her a combined American and German education. She spent most of her third year of veterinary school at Kansas State University and part of her fourth year at Ohio State University, Cornell University, and Animal Medical Center of New York.

    After receiving her veterinary degree, she continued her studies with a 1-year internship followed by a 3-year residency program at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. After completion of her residency, she stayed with the University, accepting a lecturing position. Dr. Langenbach achieved Diplomate status as a board certified surgeon in 1998.

    Following her extensive academic career, Dr. Langenbach moved to Northern Virginia to work in private referral practice. Since her time at the University, Dr. Langenbach has published several articles, authored a book chapter, and has presented at many regional and local meetings, as well as national meetings held by the College of Veterinary Surgeons.

    She is currently participating in clinical research at the University of Pennsylvania involving neoplasia in feline patients and a clinical trial for Cisplatin Bead efficacy in both canine and feline patients. Dr. Langenbach was also featured in the book “In Their Shoes” by Debbie Reiber.

    Dr. Langenbach lives with her husband, two sons, two dogs, and three cats in Vienna, VA.

  • Dirsko J.F. von Pfeil, Dr Med Vet, DVM, DACVS, DECVS

    Originally from Germany, Dr. von Pfeil completed his studies in veterinary medicine at the universities of Munich, Toulouse and Berlin. He then underwent post-graduate training (internship, surgical residency and fellowship) from 2001 – 2006 at Kansas- and Michigan State Universities. While at MSU, he completed his dissertation and obtained the American DVM. In 2007 he returned to KSU as an assistant professor, teaching orthopedic, soft tissue, oncologic and neurological small animal surgery. From 2011-2013, Dr. von Pfeil worked as a surgeon for Veterinary Specialists of Alaska.

    Dr. von Pfeil became a double-board certified surgeon and Diplomate of the American and the European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons in 2008, serves as adjunct professor at MSU, and volunteers on the board of referees for multiple international peer-reviewed veterinary journals. He is member of numerous American and European Veterinary Medical Associations: AAHA, ACVS, ECVS, VOS, VES, ESVOT, ISDVMA, DAAD, and DTB.

    Dr. von Pfeil’s clinical interests include minimally invasive surgery, major reconstructive procedures, total hip replacements, and fluoroscopically guided fracture repairs. He is certified in stem cell therapy, focusing on treatment of ligament and joint injuries. In cooperation with numerous academic and private institutions in the USA, Dr. von Pfeil continues to be actively involved in clinical research. Some of these projects include locking plates, cranial cruciate ligament disease, and orthopedic injuries in canine athletes.

    In his free time Dr. von Pfeil enjoys his family, triathlons, skiing, photography, music and languages. He is fluent in English, German, Swedish, and French.

  • Julia Hawthorne, DVM, Diplomate ACVS

    A Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Dr. Hawthorne received her Bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1994 from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She continued her academic studies completing a 1-year rotating internship at Mississippi State Univeristy and a 1-year surgical internship at Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Winter Park, Florida.

    After finishing a 3-year surgical residency at Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, she stayed with the University accepting a clinical instructorship position. Dr. Hawthorne achieved Diplomate status as a board-certified surgeon in 2001.

    Following her time with the University, Dr. Hawthorne spent over seven years as an associate surgeon with a veterinary referral practice outside Richmond, Virginia.

    A native of Northern Virginia, she returned to this area and joined VSC. Her areas of interest include soft tissue and emergency surgery.

    Dr. Hawthorne lives with her husband, three children, and Bernese Mountain Dog in Falls Church, Virginia.

  • Holly Phelps, DVM, Practice Limited to Surgery

    Dr. Holly Phelps grew up in Buffalo, New York. She moved south to pursue her undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. After spending several years in the service industry in Alexandria, Virginia, she decided to pursue her dream of working in veterinary medicine.

    She worked as an emergency and surgery technician in private specialty practice prior to earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Dr. Phelps completed a 1-year rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery with Georgia Veterinary Specialists and a surgical internship with University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She then entered a surgical residency program in Boston, Massachusetts before moving to St. Louis, Missouri where she completed her residency training at Midwest Veterinary Referral Center.

    Dr. Phelps’ clinical area of interest includes orthopedics, especially fracture repair. She has participated in advanced orthopedic courses such as the AO Masters Course on Advanced Osteotomy and received Stem Cell Therapy Certification in 2008. Dr. Phelps is a strong proponent of integrating physical rehabilitation therapy in the continuum of care and works closely with VSC’s rehabilitation practitioners in ensuring her patients’ successful return to function.

    Outside of work, Dr. Phelps enjoys spending time with her family and working with their growing brood of farm animals.

Residents In Surgery

  • Heather Mossman, DVM, Surgical Resident

    Dr. Mossman graduated from Kalamazoo College in Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Mathematics. She completed her veterinary degree at Massey University in New Zealand in 2008.

    Dr. Mossman worked in private practice, first in Traverse City, Michigan, then in Lowestoft, England, before completing her 1-year small animal rotating internship at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston in 2012.

    Dr. Mossman is thrilled to be continuing her academic training at VSC with a 3-year surgical residency.

    She currently lives in Fairfax, VA with her cat, Maggie G, and is looking forward to her husband joining her from England.

  • Justin Ganjei, DVM, Surgical Resident

    Dr. Justin Ganjei received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Virginia Tech. He then went on to work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a short time before returning back to Blacksburg, VA where he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

    Following veterinary school, Justin completed a 1-year small animal rotating internship at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg, MD. He joined VSC in 2012 for a 1-year surgical internship and upon completion VSC was excited to have him stay on for his 3-year surgical residency.

    Justin currently lives in Maryland with his two Great Danes, Dante and Sparta.

  • John Keifer, DVM, Surgical Resident

    Dr. John Kiefer grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Biology prior to obtaining his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University in 2010. While at
    OSU, he developed an interest in the special needs of sight hounds, and became a member of the OSU Greyhound Health and Wellness Association.
    After veterinary school, John obtained additional training through a small animal rotating internship at Memphis Veterinary Specialists, and surgical internships at both Veterinary Surgical Centers and Long Island Veterinary Specialists. John is very excited to be at VSC for his 3-year surgical residency.
    He currently lives in Herndon, VA, and in his spare time enjoys playing with his Russian Wolfhound, Mstislav.

Hospital Location: 140 Park Street SE
Vienna, VA 22180
Contact Numbers: Tel (703) 281-5121
Fax (703) 281-0149

For non-medical questions or comments: Email Us