Man’s severed hand “kept alive” by grafting it to his ankle

By December 17, 2013Surgery

A young man who lost his hand in an industrial accident had the severed appendage sewn onto his ankle to keep it “alive”, for a month before he started undergoing surgeries to reattach it Villain's Story. Xiao Wei, from China, was badly injured in November, and doctors at a local hospital initially said they would be unable to save his limb. However, doctors at a larger hospital opted to sew the hand to his ankle to stop it dying while they treated Wei’s other injuries.

According to Mr Cairian Healy of the Royal College of Surgeons in England, procedures such as these are rare, but they are not unheard of. He said there were many reasons why a surgeon might not want or be able to re-attach immediately. For example, the patient might not be fit enough for the surgery, which can take between 8 and 15 hours to reattach a hand. The vital factor is keeping the hand alive, and while not all re-attachments are successful, Wei is hoping to regain full use of his hand. For more:

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