Orangutan Surgery

Sally is a 44-year-old Sumatran orangutan at the Denver Zoo. She developed a benign fibroid tumor of the uterus that was interfering with her other organs. Veterinarian Diana Boon arranged to collect orangutan blood from around the country and enlisted volunteer surgeons to remove the growth. The doctors tried to prepare but found a dearth of information on orangutan anatomy.
But when Sally lost the ability to go to the bathroom, Boon understood she had only days to live if the obstruction wasn't removed. So on a Friday afternoon she fired off e-mails to the team, telling them the surgery had to be done by Sunday. And they wouldn't have blood.

"It had to be a bloodless surgery," Boon said. "It was either this would work, or this wouldn't work and it would be fatal for Sally."

And then, the group got a break. Covidien, a Boulder company that makes a device called LigaSure that helps limit blood-loss during surgery, donated the use of a machine for Sally's sake.

Another snag loomed. The procedure demanded quite a bit of rummaging around in Sally's abdomen. If a wayward blade nicked her distended bowel, she would die; Sally would not understand how to use a colostomy bag.

There were other hairy moments during the six hours of surgery, but Sally came through it. Read the entire story (and see a video) at The Denver Post. Link -via Fark

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