By Health In Five Writer
A 42-year-old man rushed into the hospital with half of his left thumb completely cut and separated. The patient was cleaning the chain of his motor-bike, when his thumb was accidentally amputated. While cleaning his Bullet motorbike, his left thumb suddenly got trapped in the chain of the motorbike. He reflexly pulled back his hand, but the distal half of his thumb was completely amputated and avulsed.
A team led by Dr. Nilesh G Satbhai, Head of Department – Plastic, Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgery and Transplant Surgery, Global Hospitals, Mumbai, successfully performed this challenging microvascular surgery and reattached the chopped-off portion of the patient’s thumb.
“The patient’s case is not an isolated incident. We get several cases of youngsters or bike enthusiasts who come for finger crush injuries, total or near-total amputations owing to bike chain related accidents. If people manage to preserve the amputated part and reach the hospital on time, we can reconstruct the digits or re-attach the detached fingers with the help of microvascular surgery”, said Dr. Satbhai.
“All the important structures were dissected, identified, and prepared on both the patient side and the amputated part. The bones were fixed using a stainless-steel wire. The blood vessels of the thumb (artery and veins) were then connected to each other to restore the blood circulation of the amputated part of the thumb. The blood vessels at this level are very tiny (often less than 1 mm in diameter). The threads (sutures) required to join these blood vessels are much thinner than human hair and are barely visible to naked eyes. Hence, such procedures can only be performed under the operating microscope. The nerves and tendons were then repaired. Reconstructive Microsurgery aims to restore the normal form and function of the body part to its maximum extent”, added Dr. Nilesh Satbhai.
The patient was monitored closely over the next week to ensure that the replanted thumb remained viable. Having recovered without any complications he was discharged after 1 week.