By Dr. Jay Middendorf

I am truly honored to have the opportunity to teach laser surgery for Cutting Edge Lasers. Yes, I love teaching surgery, but better than that I had the chance to work on sea turtles! How cool is that?! This was by far the coolest thing I have done in my career.

These animals are magnificent and need our help. The green sea turtles suffer from a virus called Fibropapillamatous which can kill them in the ocean. Sea Turtles Inc. in South Padre, Texas is leading the charge to try to help these turtles, along with the doctors at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville Texas.

I performed tumor removals and taught Dr. Tom and Dr. Diane to use the laser to excise the tumors. The laser helps to cauterize the vessels and the nerve endings allowing the removal of the masses. All four turtles did fantastic and the technicians were spot on with the anesthesia. Soon these turtles will be released back into the ocean. Many thanks to Brian Thurlow and his staff for all the work they do. They rely on donations so if you can, please help them by visiting

This is one of the young green sea turtles we did surgery on. His story is like many others who have been caught in the nets and fishing lines, when he was found he had a net wrapped around his left front flipper. While removing the net, he flapped his flipper and it fell off. Thankfully, he is doing well and we removed 2 small masses from him.

Unfortunately, he will be probably never be released. He will be used as an educational teaching tool or possibly get to live in a zoo or aquarium. He was just a special animal and I was blessed to met him.


Dr. Middendorf examining a sea turtleDr. Middendorf operating on a sea turtleDr. Middendorf holding a sea turtleSea turtle in poolDr. Middendorf removing tumor from a sea turtleDr. Middendorf and staff with a sea turtle Sea turtle on a towel Sea turtle close upDr. Middendorf and team examining a sea turtleBaby sea turtle in waterSea turtle recovering in poolTwo sea turtles in recovery