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Mangalore: Unique Plastic Surgery Reattaches Worker's Chopped Off Hand
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (VA)
Mangalore, Feb 4: A remarkable Microsurgery procedure by renowned Plastic Surgeon Dr Satish Bhat helped to successfully reattach the amputed right hand of George from Kanhangad. The hand was completely cut off accidentally while working in an arecanut plantation.
Fortunately for George, his friends helped promptly; initially to preserve the separated hand the right way by wrapping in a dry plastic bag and keeping the bag in an ice box, and then by ensuring that George reached Mangala Hospital, Mangalore within 3 hours of the accident.
He had sustained major blood loss due to severe bleeding; this was quickly replaced on arrival to the hospital and the hand was successfully reattached by emergency six hour surgery. The surgery involved reattachment of each of the divided bones, blood vessels, tendons nerves and finally stitching the skin. Fortunately for George, he recovered smoothly from the surgery and has already begun physiotherapy to regain movement of the fingers. He will need another three months of supervised careful physiotherapy to regain maximum use of the hand.
Usually, the primary concern in re-implantation surgery is to ensure survival of the detached part. By restoring blood circulation through reconnection of arteries, Oxygen has to be delivered to the dying tissue/body part, before it is too late. These reconnected blood vessels are at a risk of occlusion over the initial few days after surgery due to their extremely delicate nature. This tricky, demanding situation makes it difficult to address issues of function of the detached part at the time of the initial surgery.
George was lucky on multiple accounts. He was brought to a hospital providing this sort of a major emergency surgery without delay. The relatively ‘clean cut’ nature of the injury permitted smooth survival of the limb so that all wounds healed within a week; significantly, the nerves and tendons that move the fingers could be delicately repaired in the initial surgery itself. This allowed restoration of early movement within 2 weeks itself, by the time he was discharged from hospital last week.
Worldwide, success of limb re-plantation surgery is measured in terms of restoration of function of the reattached part (hand in this case). George will undergo delicate physiotherapy over the next 3 months till he regains maximum use of his hand and can slowly return to his former work.
Most often, when circumstances are not so favourable, survival of the reattached part is the only issue that can be addressed. It is difficult to restore function in the initial surgery. Though the limb may survive, the patient is left with a stiff hand. Though this is far better that not having any hand at all, the lack of adequate movement leaves the patient disappointed over the next few months. Late (secondary) surgery to improve function is not very useful in such cases. However, with the experience gained over a few years of Micro vascular surgery, George’s hand will not only survive, but will also have meaningful movement to lead a normal life. This would have been difficult if not impossible a few years ago.
Microsurgery is one of the miracles of modern medicine that can give dramatic results in such accidents and other instances. This complex surgery was made available in Mangalore thanks to a dedicated team of doctors consisting of Plastic Surgeon Dr Satish Bhat, Anaesthetist and Mangala hospital director Dr Ganapathy Bhat, and Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Mayur Rai.
Dr Satish Bhat - Plastic Surgeon
This case illustrates another example of the world class health care facilities available in our city. For further information on Plastic Surgery and its benefits one can visit www.plasticsurgerymangalore.com