Gallery: Amazing Photos of Goldfish's Life-Saving Tumor Surgery

Saving George

Goldfish Surgery

(Image credit: Nicole Dorling, Lort Smith)

A small goldfish, named George, underwent surgery at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, to remove a life-threatening tumor from his head.

Here are some incredible photos from the operation.

Prepping for Surgery

Goldfish Surgery Anesthesia

(Image credit: Nicole Dorling, Lort Smith)

Dr. Tristan Rich, head of Lort Smith’s exotic and wildlife vet team, set up three buckets: one with enough anesthetic to put the goldfish to sleep, one with anesthetic to keep the fish under throughout the procedure, and one with clean water to be used as the recovery unit.

Operating on a Fish

Goldfish Anesthetic

(Image credit: Nicole Dorling, Lort Smith)

Once the goldfish was asleep, Dr. Rich ran a tube from one of the buckets with anesthesia w(hich was being oxygenated), into George’s mouth, so that the water with the anesthetic washed over his gills.

Tumor Removal

Goldfish Tumor Surgery

(Image credit: Nicole Dorling, Lort Smith)

Dr. Rich removed a large tumor from the goldfish's head. During the procedure, the doctor had to use a gelatin sponge to control the bleeding. Since the wound was so large, making it difficult to seal, Dr. Rich put in four sutures, then sealed the rest of the wound with tissue glue.


Goldfish Recovery

(Image credit: Nicole Dorling, Lort Smith)

Once the surgery was done, George was placed in the recovery unit bucket and given oxygen. He was also given injections of long-acting pain relief and antibiotics. Soon afterwards the goldfish took a couple of breaths on his own and started swimming around, the doctors said.

Live Science Staff
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