Chris, a young Green sea turtle, was found listlessly swimming at the surface covered in Fibropapilloma tumors. Fibropapillomatosis, which mainly affects juvenile Green sea turtles, is a virus which causes tumor like growths. Although the tumors are completely benign, they are often debilitating leaving the affected sea turtle blind or weakened. There is no cure for the virus, however the external tumors can be surgically removed and typically do not regrow.
Chris underwent a surgical procedure, an endoscopy, to ensure that tumors were not growing internally. Smaller tumors from the eyelids were removed but a second procedure will be necessary to remove the remaining growths along the flippers.
Chris is recovering from his last surgery only a few short days ago. This little turtle had so many tumors it will take a total of 3 surgeries to remove all the papillomas. His final surgery will begin his one year research period at the hospital to ensure he has no re-growths.
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