A Painstaking Hand Replantation Surgery
by Dr. Lokesh Kumar
Kamlesh, a 22-year-old daily wage-worker had an accident at work. His employer and colleagues wasted no time in rushing him to a local clinic when his wrist got stuck under the sheet cutting machine and was ripped off completely. The severed part was preserved in the ice bag immediately at a nearby clinic and the patient was then referred to BLK Super Speciality Hospital for immediate surgery.
After a very challenging 17-hours long surgery, the wrist was replanted by a team comprising of 7 experts and 2 surgeons led by Dr. Lokesh Kumar, Director & HOD, BLK Centre for Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery. The severed part had squashed arteries and nerves, the challenge was to precisely identify each and separate them. Arteries, nerves and tendons of the amputated part was fixed to the stump using K wires, which held the severed hand together in place before titanium plates were inserted to join the bones. Once the bone was fixed, the most important step was to start the blood flow to the severed part which was done by attaching the arteries and veins under the magnification of operating microscope. The last step was to join other structures like nerves and tendons which are important to bring function to the replanted hand.
Kamlesh is doing well now and showing consistent improvement. He can move his fingers and has partial wrist movement. It took about 6 weeks to naturally regenerate his bone strength and muscle movement, saving him from a lifetime of disability.