An Ohio State cancer doctor took an unusual trip to the zoo, performing successful surgery on a gorilla. Soon after the veterinarians at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium discovered the tumor in Shaila, a 19-year-old gorilla, they contacted Allan Tsung, MD, director of surgical oncology at the OSUCCC &ndash; James and a specialist in liver, bile duct and pancreatic cancer. &ldquo;I thought it was a practical joke from one of my friends,&rdquo; Tsung says of his reaction to the message. After verifying that the request was legitimate, Tsung quickly signed on to perform the life-saving surgery. &ldquo;The liver of a gorilla is almost identical [to a human liver] in terms of blood vessels and bile ducts and the size,&rdquo; Tsung says, adding that the surgery was a joint effort between his James surgical team and the skilled veterinarians at the zoo. Tsung shares more details about Shailia&rsquo;s surgery on our Cancer-Free World Podcast. Listen via the video player above&nbsp;or on SoundCloud. &ldquo;I was very nervous, and the last thing I wanted was a bad outcome,&rdquo; says Tsung, whose strategy was to think of Shaila as a human patient. &ldquo;Besides cutting through the skin, which is much thicker than human skin, everything was similar to a human patient.&rdquo; The approach of Tsung and his team paid off with successful surgery for their unusual patient. &ldquo;The tumor was self-contained, so we were able to remove it entirely,&rdquo; Tsung says. While the surgery was similar to a human procedure, the recovery period was a little different, due to the need to return Shailia to her fellow gorillas. &ldquo;The longer you keep them away from their families, the more nervous, anxious and disruptive they can get,&rdquo; Tsung says. &ldquo;They watched her closely overnight, but then they had to put her back with the rest of the gorillas.&rdquo; Shailia returned to her family with a new look, thanks to a trick used by zoo vets that keeps gorillas from picking at their surgical wounds. &ldquo;They painted her fingernails bright colors &mdash; pink and purple &mdash; so when she goes to pick at the wound, she&rsquo;ll be distracted by her fingernails,&rdquo; Tsung says.