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Kitten ‘resting comfortably’ after getting eyelids

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

The once-homeless kitten Butterfly has undergone nearly four hours of surgery Monday to give her eyelids so she’ll be able to blink.

The 5-month-old kitten was born with bilateral eyelid agenesis, a congenital defect where the upper eyelids have not fully formed.

The 5-month-old kitten was born with bilateral eyelid agenesis, a congenital defect where the upper eyelids have not fully formed.

The surgery in Ann Arbor was aimed at helping Butterfly be able to blink and protect her eyes from damage and allow them to moisten properly so she can have “normal eyesight,” said Curtis Krueger, a spokesman for BluePearl Veterinary Partners, the facility that performed the operation.

“Everything went really well, we’re very pleased with everything,” said Gwen Sila, a veterinary ophthalmologist with BluePearl, on Monday evening. “It all came together nicely, and she’s resting comfortably, and she has eyelids now, so that’s awesome.”

Dr. Gwen Sila and Dr. Michael West performed the operation on Butterfly, the cat born without eyelids, July 27, 2015.

The risks post-surgery are infection and the “possibility that the graft of skin does not ‘take,’ ” Sila said.

Sila said Butterfly will be carefully monitored and, if all goes well, stitches will be removed in two weeks.

A tiny flap of skin was taken from inside the kitten’s upper lip and sewn against her eyeball to form a new eyelid and then sutured into place, Krueger said, “to make sure those flaps of skin behave like a normal eyelid and can blink.”

The surgery was performed by Gwen Sila, an veterinary ophthalmologist with BluePearl, which donated the operation.

Butterfly was a stray rescued by the Humane Society of Huron Valley and was living in a foster home where she was receiving special drops in her eyes several times a day because of her condition.

Butterfly was born without upper eyelids, veterinarians say.

Those interested in contributing to Butterfly’s care can visit the Humane Society of Huron Valley website at hshv.org.

lfleming@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2620

Twitter:@leonardnfleming