C’sar, a 38-year old African elephant has successfully undergone cataract surgery at the North Carolina Zoo.
Veterinarians used Bioptigen’s Envisu R2300 ophthalmic imaging system to perform the surgery which was only the fifth time elephant cataract surgery has been performed anywhere in the world. This was the first time that a spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT) imaging system was used on an elephant.
North Carolina Zoo officials say that C’sar’s behavior has improved dramatically since surgery – to the extent that they hope he can resume grazing in one of his three-and-a-half acre savannahs in the US spring. He has been sheltered within his barn and paddock since last March after cataracts in both eyes essentially blinded him, preventing him from safely and confidently roaming in larger spaces.
Dr. Eric Buckland, president and CEO of Bioptigen, said the company’s Envisu R2300 was a logical choice for C’sar’s surgery.
“Our hand-held technology allowed surgeons to bring the imager to the elephant, which obviously is better than having to bring an elephant to an imager,” he said. “And the attributes of our Envisu system allowed users to modify it for the unique size of an elephant’s eye. No other product on the market can do that.”