Scalpel, anesthesia, banana — Tennessee orthopedic surgeon operates on gorilla

Eric Oliver -   Print  |

Andi the gorilla needed a knee procedure, and University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center surgeon Dr. Darryl Millis needed an extra hand, local CBS affiliate WVLT reports. 

So Dr. Millis reached out to Knoxville, Tenn.-based orthopedic surgeon Mike Casey, MD, and asked for his assistance on performing a knee surgery on Andi in June. Andi's knee was not turning the way it normally should, so they performed a preventive procedure before the injury could worsen. 

Dr. Millis said, "A lot of the apes are close to humans ... so I was happy to have this physician with us on this surgery." 

Dr. Casey said the procedure was a "great thrill," and added, "It's not every day you get to tell everyone, 'Hey, I'm going to operate on a gorilla.'" 

Even Dr. Casey's other patients were interested in the procedure when he called to reschedule their procedures. "They were less interested in their own knee problem and more interested in Andi the gorilla." 

As for Andi, the surgery was a success and she is back at Zoo Knoxville, monkeying around with the other gorillas in her exhibit.

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