A man in the U.K. is “grateful” to surgeons who sewed his hand to his groin for two weeks in a successful effort to salvage it after he came into the emergency room with a severed palm, thumb and in danger of losing several fingers.
“I’d say it’s probably the most complex amputation I’ve had to deal with,” Roger Adlard, consultant plastic surgeon at St. George’s Hospital in London, told SWNS. “There are many surgeons who, once they’d seen that level of injury, would think it was unsalvageable.”
Adlard’s patient, Anthony Lelliott, had been using a circular saw while trimming flooring when the accident occurred. He described it as “blood spurting everywhere.”
Adlard and another surgeon, Farida Ali, worked for 17 hours to save what they could while being mindful of diminishing time.
“Time was also against us; his detached fingers were getting warm and left too long without blood they would rapidly decompose and be impossible to re-attach,” Adlard told SWNS.
They first fixed his broken bones and then set about harvesting nerve and vein grafts from his foot and forearm.
“Following the operation, we noticed some of the skin on his palm wasn’t surviving and, what’s more, his middle finger had insufficient bone stability or feeling to it, so we made the decision that to save the rest of his hand, we’d sacrifice his middle finger and effectively fillet it to help reconstruct the skin and bone which was missing from his palm,” Adlard told SWNS.
But they still needed more skin to cover the repairs in his palm, so they opted to attach his hand to his groin, where it remained for two weeks.
“This procedure is called a pedicled groin flap and was performed by another hand surgeon, Jamil Moledina,” Adlard told SWNS. “Mr. Moledina cut a section of skin in Anthony’s groin and lifted it like a flap to cover the missing skin from his hand. It was sewn in place and left there for two weeks.”
Once the skin from his groin had grown onto the area of the palm that needed coverage, they were able to cut his hand free. The procedure was largely considered a success and now Lelliott is working on regaining movement in his hand.