POLAND – At just one glance, 10-year-old Liza may look like a normal cat. However, veterinarians in Poland are puzzled how she survives with almost half of her brain missing.
Back in July 2016, Liza was diagnosed with a meningioma and MRI and CT scans showed that the tumor almost completely filled the entire right half of her brain.
Liza’s owner, whose name is Malgorzata Oppeln-Bronikowska, and the veterinarians, decided to do a risky tumor removal surgery.
This was not a standard procedure, the operation has been done on a regular basis by the team of surgeons and anesthetists from the University of Environmental and Life Science in Wroclaw.
Normally the tumors are a lot smaller, said the head of surgery at the Wroclaw university, Prof. Zdzislaw Kielbowicz, adding on that he is astonished at how well Liza is doing after the removal of such a large tumor.
“We regularly perform this (type of) surgery, but the tumors, meningiomas, are usually much smaller, but if after the removal of such a large tumor everything comes back to normal as far as the vital functions are concerned, then it is undoubtedly a phenomenon,” he stated.
Liza’s chances of surviving following the procedure were quite slim, Kielbowicz said. Just removing the portion of the skull cap and reaching the tumor took a total of an hour and 15 minutes.
“You need to remember that brain or spinal cord surgery carries a series of risks and that is why what we are seeing here is an exceptional case.”
Oppeln-Bronikowska went on to say that the cat’s recovery was very difficult and she took it one day at a time. She remembers Liza’s each and every step towards rehabilitation – the day she first stood up after surgery when she began to walk when she first ate on her own after being fed for many months with a syringe.
“I was in tears with happiness,” she stated. “She surprised us all.”
Six months after the surgery and there are no restrictions to Liza’s movements and the only clearly visible sign she had major brain surgery is a delayed reaction of her left pupil.
One other noticeable difference is Liza doesn’t fight with her cat neighbors in the flat as often as she used to, finally living up to her nickname “Princess.”