Zoo and UW Medicine team treat gorilla's sinuses

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Zoo and UW Medicine team treat gorilla's sinuses

Slideshow: An inside look during the procedure that put Woodland Park Zoo’s Vip on path to recovery
McKenna Princing

Click on the arrows within the photos for the slideshow.

Each UW Medicine staff member in Woodland Park Zoo’s operating room Aug. 9 understood that providing care for a gorilla was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That is, except for Dr. Greg Davis, the surgeon who was clearing the sinuses of Vip, the 430-pound silverback (adult male gorilla) for the second time.

“He’s definitely one of my more unique patients,” Davis said. “He’s a large, powerful animal and has such a presence. I’m honored to be able to help him out.”

The infection and polyps removed were minor compared with last year’s procedure, he said. Davis is a UW assistant professor of otolaryngology - head and neck surgery.

Vip stands for Very Important Primate. That was apparent from the large volunteer team from the zoo and UW Medicine present at his procedure. Before surgery, Vip received allergy testing to see if an underlying issue is causing his recurrent sinus infections. He also had his heart checked. 

See Woodland Park Zoo blog post, "Breathe easy: Vip recovers from successful sinus surgery"