Goldfish George brain tumour operation
The goldfish George underwent a 45-minute-long operation to remove a life-threatening tumour Lort Smith Animal Hospital/Reuters

A goldfish has undergone a surgical operation in Australia to remove a life-threatening tumour from its brain.

Dr Tristan Rich, who operated on the 10-year-old fish, named George, at Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, said the animal had recovered and was "up and about and swimming around".

"George had a quite large tumour on top of his head that was growing slowly, and it was beginning to affect his quality of life," he said.

The pet's owner was willing to pay $200 (£125) for the life-saving procedure.

"She was dedicated enough to give it a go," Rich said.

"The fish was having trouble eating, getting around and he was getting bullied by other fish."

But he described the 45-minute-long operation was "fiddly".

"Controlling the blood loss is really important in such a small patient.

"Closing up did prove quite difficult because there wasn't much skin to deal with. It was quite intricate surgery really."

Vets say George will be able to live for 20 more years now.