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Doctors attach a man’s hand to his ankle after it was severed in an accident

Doctors attach a man’s hand to his ankle after it was severed in an accident

In a medical miracle that attracted worldwide attention, doctors in Changsha, China, successfully performed a groundbreaking operation to temporarily transplant a man’s hand to his ankle.

The operation had become necessary after the man’s hand was severed in a tragic accident and there was a risk of irreparable damage.

The patient, 27-year-old Xiao Wei, was admitted to a hospital in China’s Hunan province after his right hand was severed in an accident at work involving heavy machinery.

The doctors faced a huge challenge because the hand had already been severed for several hours, which significantly reduced the chances of successfully reattaching it directly to the arm.

A man in China had his hand tied to his ankle (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

A man in China had his hand tied to his ankle (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Due to the condition of the severed hand, doctors decided to temporarily transplant it to Xiao Wei’s ankle. The goal of this approach was to preserve the hand and its tissues while giving Xiao Wei time to stabilize and plan further surgery.

However, doctors were confident that he would regain full function of his hand.

“His injury was severe. In addition to the lacerations, his arm was also flattened. We had to treat his injuries before we could begin the surgery to reconstruct his hand,” doctors said, according to the BBC.

During the operation, which lasted several hours, the arteries, veins and tendons of the hand were connected to those in Xiao Wei’s ankle. This complicated operation was crucial to preserve the functionality of the hand so that it could later be reattached to its original position on Xiao Wei’s arm.

Medical experts stressed that although such surgical procedures are rare and technically complex, they are crucial in cases where immediate reattachment is not possible.

Doctors are confident the operation will be successful (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Doctors are confident the operation will be successful (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The temporary transplant keeps the injured tissues alive and functional, increasing the chances of a successful long-term recovery.

Mr Cairian Healy of the Royal College of Surgeons in England told the BBC that such operations were rare but not impossible.

“The Chinese have a lot of experience in microsurgery,” he said.

“And the concept of saving a severed body part by connecting it to another body part to give it a blood supply is well accepted.”

The surgeon confirmed that it was a complex procedure and said: “The patient may not be fit enough for the operation. An experienced surgeon can take between eight and 15 hours to reattach a hand.”

Xiao Wei continued to be closely monitored in the hospital, where doctors monitored the development of his hand and his general condition. The next steps in his treatment involved carefully planning the reattachment of the hand to his arm approximately one month after the initial surgery.