Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Elephantine eye surgery

Coincidentally, an elephant at a zoo - Amsterdam's Artis Zoo - in yesterday's list was making headlines after undergoing successful eye surgery last Tuesday. While playing with the other Asian elephants, 45-year-old matriarch Win Thida's cornea had been scratched by a twig. Her eyes watered constantly and she squeezed her eyes shut in pain. The zoo veterinarians consulted animal ophthalmologist Anne-Marie Verbruggen, who planned a surgery previously performed on horses and bears: inserting a contact lens (1st image, more photos here). “I was called in when the zoo reported that Win Thida’s eye was painful and streaming. It looked nasty, as if maybe it had been scratched by a twig during a scuffle. The main difficulty was her height. Elephants can’t lie down for long before their immense weight impairs their breathing, so I used a ladder to get close enough. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked. She seemed happier straight away.” After a few weeks of practice with the animal, which needed to stand while anesthetized, the 1st-of-its-kind operation lasted about an hour and was a success. Win Thida (2nd image) can now keep her eye open more easily, and the contact lens will keep the wound clean and allow it to heal. In a few months, the contact lens - which prevented Win Thida from going blind in her left eye - will no longer be needed and will be removed.

1 comment:

  1. Oh nice written about elephantine eye surgery. I saw this on geographical channel but I wanted to learn more about this. Really this eye care treatment is very great solution for those human being that want a freedom for wearing eye glasses or facing any type of eye’s related injuries.


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