A tiny molly fish survived a 40-minute operation which involved the fish swimming in anesthesia to render unconsciousness. The fish, that is just an inch long and weighs less than a gram, has made a full recovery after radical surgery to remove a growth from its stomach. The small fish belongs to the Poecilia Sphenops species, known under the common name as Molly. The fish was so small that at any point of the 40-minute procedure, the operation could have proved to be fatal. Molly fish was operated by Sonya Miles an advanced practitioner in zoological medicine who is also a nurse at Laura Warren at Highcroft Vets in Bristol.
The owner of the tiny fish paid £100 for the operation. The surgeon, Sonya Miles reportedly explained that fish had to be anesthetised in a different way as compared to other mammals. She had to make sure that the anesthetic solution flowed over the gills before performing the surgery.
The zoological medical doctor claimed that she used a water-soluble anesthetic so that it allowed the molly fish to swim around in it until it fell asleep. She got to know that the fish was asleep when it lost the righting reflex and started floating. Miles also reported that before the operation she had to catheterize the mouth of the fish and then gently made different concentrations of the anesthetic solution flow over its gills.
Sonya Miles alleged that as the Molly fish was less than a gram, the operation was pretty tricky to conduct. She claimed that incision could not be closed by stitches as for a mammal. She had to instead use an adrenaline swab to constrict blood vessels and then a waterproof paste had to be painted on to heal the flesh beneath the scales.
The clinic Highcroft Rabbit, Small Mammal & Exotic Vets said that "We are pleased to say the fish made a full recovery and returned home the same day. The little one is now back to normal and eating well".