Terry Norton, DVM, used an Aesculight CO2 laser to remove a 14.2-pound tumor from the flipper of Chomper, a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle. This tumor was the largest tumor removed at the Turtle Hospital since its inception in 1986.
Dr. Norton was able to save the flipper and avoid massive blood loss with help from an Aesculight CO2 laser. As it vaporizes tissue, the Aesculight CO2 laser seals small blood vessels, thereby reducing bleeding and preserving good visualization of the treatment area. The laser does not tear or bruise the tissue. That is because the tissue is contacted only by the laser light. Reduced trauma to the tissue, along with the laser’s ability to seal blood and lymphatic vessels as it cuts, results in less post-operative swelling.
After the complete removal of the tumor, Chomper, who before the surgery had low blood pressure, received a blood transfusion from Madea, a non-releasable loggerhead sea turtle living at the Turtle Hospital. Dr. Norton is cautiously optimistic Chomper will make a full recovery.
About the Turtle Hospital
The Turtle Hospital, in Marathon, FL, is a fully functioning veterinary hospital for sick and injured sea turtles. They rescue, rehab, and release sea turtles in the Florida Keys. Learn more at turtlehospital.org.
Learn More About Chomper
- “Sea Turtle Gets Massive 14-Lb. Tumor Removed from Flipper: ‘She Has a Long Way to Go in Rehab'” – People – people.com/pets/vets-successfully-remove-gigantic-tumor-from-sea-turtle
- “‘Chomper is 14.2 pounds lighter.’ Surgery at Keys turtle hospital removes giant tumor” – The Miami Herald – miamiherald.com/news/local/community/florida-keys/article245891575.html
- On the Turtle Hospital’s Facebook Page: facebook.com/The-Turtle-Hospital-94796606785
All Images are sourced from the Turtle Hospital’s Facebook page.