Fish can and do have surgeries performed on them. An anesthetic is delivered to the fish in its water, and the fish is removed from the water for surgery. Performing surgery with the fish in the water is difficult and can result in contamination of the surgical site. For long surgeries, water (containing anesthetic) must be pumped over the gills to keep the fish oxygenated and anesthetized, as well as keep the fish's skin moist. Thick, heavy scales must be removed along the incision line. Sutures may be removed by your veterinarian from 10 to 30 days following surgery, depending on the rate of healing.
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