When Dr. Tristan Rich came in for work at an animal hospital in Melbourne, Australia, he had an unusual patient named George waiting for him. A large tumor had grown from the patient’s head, and Dr. Rich had to operate soon. The operating table was made ready, but now the doctor had a problem. George could not inhale the anesthetic unless he was literally swimming in it. That’s because George is a fish! The 10-year-old goldfish had been suffering from a tumor for over a year. When it began to affect George’s swimming, his owner decided to have the surgery done... at a cost of $200!
Just how does a doctor operate on a fish? Dr. Rich administered the anesthetic by putting it into the bucket George was swimming in. When the fish was peacefully asleep, the doctor removed the tumor, pouring water through George’s gills during the surgery to keep him alive. Next came four stitches and a bit of special glue to close the wound. The entire operation took 45 minutes. George was given painkillers and put into a bucket of water to recover from his ordeal and soon began swimming around. The hospital reports that George is now doing “swimmingly.”