New Delhi: AIIMS Delhi has achieved a new feat by becoming the first hospital in the country to successfully create a new forearm of a 27-year-old patient. With multiple levels of surgery, the whole process took three years to complete.
In November 2019, a left-handed factory worker from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh came to the hospital at 5am. His left forearm was completely crushed by a hydraulic pressing machine. While the injury was approximately 5cm distal to the elbow joint, all the way to the wrist crease involving skin, soft tissue, nerves, muscles and bones, the hand was relatively undamaged.
The plastic surgery team led by Dr Maneesh Singhal assessed the patient’s condition and realised it was a very complicated case. Injuries to the forearm with an uninjured hand pose a unique problem where replantation of the hand is not possible since the forearm is completely damaged.
“In such cases, surgeries are possible if the patient is brought within six hours of the accident. Luckily, the man was brought within time,” said Singhal, head of plastic, reconstructive and burns surgery department. There are usually two options, either the patient is given a prosthetic arm or the functioning part (the palm in this case) can be attached to the arm after removing the damaged part. But the latter option would have shortened the length of the hand. The team, therefore, decided to go ahead with reconstruction of the forearm and reattach the palm.