Tiny Surgery

We are fortunate to work with some very special patients. Flower's owner is an artist and film maker who does amazing work filming and training mice. Her YouTube channel, filled with fun and educational videos about mice, can be found here. Flower came in to see us because her owner had noticed a tumour growing on her side. After discussing the risks of surgery for a patient of Flower's size and age, we agreed to try removing the tumor to prolong Flower's lifespan.

This is Flower! It's easy to see why she's a favourite.

This is Flower's tumour - it's underneath the skin and difficult to see, so I added some dots to help show where it is. Flower's head is inside an anesthetic mask. The reason this mask is covered in pink tape is because it's actually holding a smaller mask inside that we made especially to accommodate tiny mouse faces. Typically we do not like to use masks for keeping patients under anesthesia as they do not deliver oxygen to the lungs as efficiently, but with mice we don't have equipment small enough to fit down their airway. Flower did very well under anesthesia with her mouse mask.

So it's hard to see what's going here, because mice are very small relative to the size of my hands. This is me placing very, very tiny sutures in Flower after removing her tumour. With mice it's very important to control bleeding during surgery, as they don't have much blood volume they can safely lose.

Flowers's little incision all stitched up.

This looks an awful lot like the first picture, but Flower is pretty cute. This is her recovering from anesthesia and ready to zip around.