Abu Dhabi: Doctors at Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, which is part of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), successfully conducted a complex emergency hand replantation surgery that lasted nine hours on a patient who lost his hand in an industrial accident.
The plastic and reconstructive surgery team was able to restore blood circulation in the severed arm within two hours using a microsurgery technique, and the patient was able to move his fingers within a week of the surgery.
Replantation surgeries involve the surgical reattachment of a body part (such as the hand, fingers, or toes), with an average survival rate of the replanted parts being 80 per cent.
The success of the replantation surgery depends on several factors – the type of injury being of most importance. Usually, sharp injuries produce the best overall results, while crush or avulsion amputations (an injury in which a body structure is torn off by trauma) produce relatively poor outcomes. Additionally, age, area of injury, and joint versus non-joint injuries are some factors that affect recovery.
Race against time
Dr Ammar Al Dhamin, Plastic, Reconstructive and Microsurgery Consultant, Tawam Hospital, at SEHA, said: “Replantation surgeries can be complex and highly technical. The patient presented to us with a hand severed from his wrist, an industrial injury. Elapsed time is highly crucial; as one of the most important factors to a successful replantation is less than six hours in the structures contain muscles. In this case, we restored blood circulation within two hours, and the patient could start moving his fingers within a week. We expect he will need extensive physiotherapy in the future, but his recovery so far has been fantastic.”
The surgery team who performed the procedure also includes Emiratis surgeons Dr Latifa Abdulla Al Dhaheri, Plastic Surgeon; Dr Hamad Ahmed Aldhaheri, Medical Resident; and Dr Mohammed Nadir Sekkal, Specialist Physician, from the orthopaedic team.