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A marine angelfish called Carla has undergone a life-saving operation at the London Aquarium.

The French angelfish, Pomacanthus paru, underwent the 30-minute procedure after developing a ~hernia .

Carla's problems began when this mystery swelling appeared on her side, explained deputy curator Jamie Oliver to the Daily Telegraph.

"Within a couple of days it burst and we feared for her survival when it left a large open wound and her internal organs exposed."

A course of antibiotics provided positive results, but couldn t prevent Carla s stomach from protruding through the wound.

However, veterinary surgeon Sue Thornton was prepared to give long-term resident Carla, who has been at the aquarium for 10 years, a chance under the knife.

Within five minutes of the operations completion, during which water was pumped through her mouth and gills, Carla came around from the anaesthetic.

I must admit I didn't think the prognosis was very promising, said Thornton. But I am thrilled and delighted Carla is back to her best.

Several days later Carla had her five stitches removed, and was returned into the London Aquarium s Caribbean reef display.

'I guess it may seem a bit extreme, but the last thing we wanted was to lose her,' said Oliver.