Corneal transplant following removal of a melanoma saves Labrador’s vision

Davies Veterinary Specialists

Ophthalmology, Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Professionals

14th October 2022

A young Labrador Retriever has had an eye-saving operation thanks to the ophthalmology teams at Davies and London Veterinary Specialists. The dog had a fast-growing melanoma successfully removed from her right eye, which was then repaired with a corneal grafting material.

Connie was referred to Linnaeus-owned London Vet Specialists with a black growth in her right eye which, according to her owner, had been growing and increasing in size rapidly in the past couple weeks.

“Ophthalmic examination confirmed a large mass affecting the sclera and cornea of Connie’s right eye,” said Ioannis Tzouganakis, ophthalmologist at Davies and London Vet Specialists. “The mass was approximately 10mm in diameter and due to the rate at which it was growing we needed to perform surgery promptly to save Connie’s eye.”.

Connie was admitted to Linnaeus-owned Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) in Hertfordshire the following day and underwent a microsurgical procedure under general anaesthetic to remove the mass. The site of surgery was repaired using a corneal transplant (xenograft) which was meticulously stitched on the surface of the eye using hair-thin sutures. In addition to the surgical removal, cryotherapy was also performed at the time of surgery as an adjunctive treatment to lower the risk of regrowth of the mass.

Connie was discharged two days later and is making excellent progress; the surgical wound has healed, and her vision is uncompromised.

Connie’s owner Pip Allen from London said: “Ioannis was completely professional, kind and caring from the start. From Connie’s first consultation Ioannis put me at ease (and Connie!) about the suggested procedure, what was going to happen, the likely outcome(s) and recovery period.

Ioannis rang to tell me when he was starting the procedure and again as soon as he had finished to tell me how it had gone and he was always on the end of the phone/email to offer help and advice during her recovery. At her check-ups Connie was very happy to see Ioannis (treats and all!). He not only saved Connie’s eye, but also, we honestly cannot tell that there has been such a huge surgical intervention. We will be forever grateful to Ioannis and his team at Davies. Fingers crossed, but if we had to do it all again, we would.”

Ophthalmologist Ioannis Tzouganakis

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