Believe it or not: Cataract surgery on a falcon!

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A female falcon is recovering from the world’s first falcon cataract surgery, performed at Caves Animal Hospital in Deering, N.H.

The falcon, named Banner, lives at the New Hampshire School of Falconry, in Deering, N.H. She has had cataracts in each eye for nearly two years. Her condition had debilitated to the point where she could no longer fly or hunt.

Help arrived for the bird on September 29, when a veterinary team sedated her, removed her troublesome cataracts, and installed special lenses in her corneas.

It took a worldwide team of specialists to design the artificial lenses that would be placed in Banner’s eyes. Canadian opthalmology equipment manufacturer I-Med made the lenses and donated them to the surgical team in New Hampshire. The lenses themselves are only about 6 millimeters wide.

Banner was under the knife for about one hour, in the care of veterinary opthalmologist Ruth Marrion, who performed the surgery. The procedure went off without a hitch, reported The Concord Monitor. Marrion was one of several people who donated their expertise to help the ailing bird of prey.

Banner will now need several weeks of eye drop treatments to keep her eyes free of post-surgical irritation in her corneas.


From Discovery News