A goldfish named George is recovering in Melbourne after a successful “high-risk” operation at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital.

“George had a quite large tumour on the top of his head that was growing slowly, and it was beginning to affect his quality of life,” Dr. Tristan Rich told Melbourne’s 3AW radio station after performing the $200 micro-surgery on the anesthetized fishy.

The “fiddly” procedure took about 30-45 minutes and required George to be dunked into several buckets of water with various concentrations of anesthetic.

“The first bucket is more concentrated so we can put him to sleep,” Rich said.

“The second bucket is a sort of medium strength, and that was siphoned through a tube that went through the fish’s mouth, over his gills and that’s what kept him asleep, and the water itself was oxygenated.

“It’s quite fiddly, as you can imagine with an 80-gram fish, and you’ve got to make sure you can control any blood loss. He can only lose about half a mil [millilitre].”

Dr. Rich also added that George is “up and about and swimming around.” The 10-year-old is expected to live for another 20 years. (Image: Lort Smith Animal Hospital)