Man’s hand re-attached in nine-hour surgery

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IOL pic dec17 china severed hand

Reuters

Xiao Wei's severed right hand is seen attached to his ankle before the re-attachment surgery at Xiangya Hospital in Changsha, Hunan province, in this December 4, 2013, handout photo provided by Xiangya Hospital. Picture: Xiangya Hospital, Central South University

Beijing - Doctors in China kept a man's severed hand alive for a month by attaching it to his leg, before restoring it to its usual position, a report said on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old, identified by his nickname Xiao Wei, had his right hand sawn off by a drilling machine at work last month in Changde, in the central province of Hunan, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald said.

The damage was too severe to re-attach the hand immediately, so surgeons in the provincial capital Changsha grafted it onto his lower leg, just above his Achilles tendon, to keep it alive while the healing process began.

Severed limbs can be saved if their blood supply is restored within several hours of their amputation, depending on the circumstances.

Earlier this month, doctors removed the hand and successfully re-attached it to Xiao Wei's arm in a nine-hour operation, said the newspaper.

He will have to go through several further operations and rehabilitation therapy to restore the limb's function, it added.

“It's just like building a house,” the paper quoted Tang Juyu, Xiao Wei's primary doctor, as saying.

“Currently the main body is established. There will have to be interior decorations in the future.” - AFP


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