9 Unbelievable and astonishing body part reattachment surgeries
There was a time when if someone lost a limb, there was no way of reattaching it to the person. But the progress in medical and surgical science has made it possible to not only reattach lost limbs back to the body, but even graft skin from on part of the body to another.
Though there is evidence of Indian surgeon Shrustha reattaching limbs or mending skin some 2,000 years ago, first such reattachment procedure was achieved in 1962 by Dr. Ronald Malt, Massachusetts General Hospital’s chief surgical resident. He fruitfully reattached the arm of a 12-year-old boy who had suffered an accident as he was hanging onto the side of a train. Astonishingly, in the years after the surgery, the boy was able to play tennis and baseball, as well as drive race cars for recreation.
Science has advanced through the years, numerous types of the most incredible replantation operations have been performed, helping thousands of patients. Here are ten of the most such amazing procedures:
1 Reattaching both hands after moulding machine accidence
49-year-old Arsenio Matias who hails from Dominican Republic was in process of working a vacuum form machine which is used to press plastic parts into shape, when he unintentionally cut off both his hands from the wrist down.
Fortunately two of Matias’s colleagues had the idea to tie their belts around his arms in order to reduce the loss of blood and kept his severed hands in ice to preserve them.
Doctors at the Stony Brook hospital used microscopes and magnifying lenses to reattach Matias’s severed limbs. Despite successful surgery, doctors said that it is likely the patient might regain only up to 50% of normal feeling and movement in his hands. After surgery, Matias described how he felt as “Perfect, perfect. I never have pain. This is unbelievable stuff medically.”
2 Reattachment of Both Feet after Hay Mower Accident
The reattachment surgery of Rassa Prascevichute‘s two feet was an amazing medical achievement not only because it was an extremely difficult process, but the doctors also overcame very difficult complications in order to achieve success. A 3-year-old girl in Lithuania lost both of her legs after they had been hacked off by a hay mower in 1983.
A plane transported Rassa and her severed feet which were packed together with frozen fish to Russian surgeon Ramazi Datiashvili. Now obstacles began to pile up in getting the limbs reattached to the girl. He couldn’t find a willing anaesthesiologist to perform the surgery, couldn’t gain access to a microscope in order to attach the minute nerves and no assistants.
But fortunately, Datiashvili was able reattach the legs back on the girls after four hours of hard work. As of 2014, Rassa had reportedly recuperated and regained use of both her feet and had started a family.
3 Reattachment of Both Arms after Tractor Accident
18-year-old John Thompson was crushing animal fodder on his family farm in England in 1992, when he was tangled in the tractor’s chute. Both of his arms were detached at the shoulders, and on top of that, he was alone and had to use his own presence of mind in order to survive.
He used his teeth in order to open the door used a pencil to coolly dial his cousin’s number and informed her about the accident and asked for help. When the ambulance arrived, Thompson even led them to the garbage bins where he had stored his arms in ice to preserve them.
On the same day of the accident, plastic surgeons were on their way to reattach both of the patient’s arms. As of 2012, Thompson had endured over 30 surgeries and had reclaimed limited use of his arms.
4 Reattachment of Scalp After Pit Bull Attack
4-year-old Emily Stinnett of Kentucky, U.S.A. was enjoying herself on the swing set in her father’s home when his pit bull savagely attacked her and ripped off most of her scalp.
The local police authorities had to shoot the animal as it had attacked a child and seemingly agitated. Emily was then brought to Kosair Children’s Hospital, the sheriff was informed that it was impossible for the child to survive, in case the rest of her scalp was not found and reattached. The authorities searched the whole area and came up empty handed. Finally they opened up the dead dog and found the scalp in its stomach, in 4 pieces. But the doctors managed to reattach the pieces using leech therapies and successfully reattached the scalp to Emily’s head.
5 Reattachment of Head to Spine After Car Crash
In 2014, Tony Cowan was driving in Britain when he hit a speed bump and los the control of his car and caused his vehicle to be wrapped around a telephone pole. When the paramedics found Cowan he didn’t had a heartbeat and his head had come apart from his spine, with only muscle and tissue attaching his head to his spine.
The first thing the paramedics did was to revive Cowan’s heart, and rushed him to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle in order to get him operated in order to reattach his spine and head. Dr. Anant Kamat reattached Cowan’s skull to his spine with the use of bolts and metal plates.
After months in serious care, Cowan was able to reclaim partial facial movement and has been able to communicate using mime and an electric board.
6 Reattachment of Forearm After Crocodile Attack
In 2007 Chang Po-yu who works as a veterinarian at the Shoushan Zoo in China, had given a shot of tranquilizer to one of the zoo’s crocodiles and he reached into its cage. However unknown to him, what he gave to the crocodile was a shot of anti-biotics and the reptile ripped off his left arm just below the elbow.
The vet’s arm was effectively reattached by surgeons at Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, after the images of his hand in the crocodile’s mouth went viral. Till the end of May, 2009, Chang has undergone six operations to restore the arm, and blood circulation has been restored. The veterinarian said that he held no bitterness against the crocodile and was ready to go back to work.
7 Reattachment of Face After Threshing Machine Accident
This surgery is listed by Guinness as the first ever successful full-face replant or the reattachment of a detached face in history of medical science.
The surgery took place on 9-year-old Sandeep Kaur of India in 1994 after one of her pigtails got caught in a separating machine while she was working on the family farm in Punjab, India. The machine caused Sandeep’s whole face to be ripped off, but her mother had the presence of mind to put the skin on ice in a plastic bag.
She was then taken to the Christian Medical College hospital after a 3 hour ride. Dr. Abraham Thomas, the doctor on duty performed a 10-hour surgery that re-joined blood vessels and nerves on the patient’s facial skin to her head. The operation proved to be a great achievement, and as of 2005, Sandeep was studying to become a nurse.
8 Severed Hand Grafted to Leg Before Reattachment
In 2015, a factory worked named “Zhou” detached his hand in a spinning blade machine. He was taken to Changsha hospital where micro-surgeon Dr. Tang Juyu and his medical team instantly reattached the hand.
But the tendons and nerves on Zhou’s affected wrist had been horribly injured by trauma and had to be given time to heal. In order to do that, the doctors attached Zhou’s severed hand to his leg near the ankle in order to provide the hand with enough blood flow.
After a month’s time, when the tendons and nerves on the patient’s wrist were healed adequately according to the doctors, they successfully reattached the hand back after a 10 hour marathon surgery. Zhou regained partial use of his reattached hand only after few months of the surgery.
9 Severed Arm Grafted to Groin Before Reattachment
25-year-old Israel Sarrio of Valencia, Spain lost his arm in a traffic accident in 2004. A medical team at the Levante Rehabilitation Centre reattached the arm, but an infection settled in few hours after surgery.
Dr. Pedro Cadavas and his team decided to temporarily reattach his arm to his groin to keep the blood flowing properly until the infection was treated. After 9 days, the arm was reattached and doctors expected Sarrio to regain the use of his arm, but not his fingers.