Doctors perform successful reconstructive surgery after man Loses Half of His Thumb
Mumbai: A 42-year-old man rushed into the hospital with half of his left thumb completely cut and separated. The patient was cleaning the chain of his motor-bike, when his thumb was accidently amputated. Dr Nilesh G Satbhai, Head of Department - Plastic, Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgery and Transplant Surgery, Global Hospitals, Mumbai, successfully performed this challenging microvascular surgery and reattached the chopped-off portion of the patient's thumb.
Mr. Rohan Ajgaonkar, a resident of Vile Parle, banker by profession, is an adventure enthusiast. He is passionate about riding and he usually ensures himself, that his bike is well maintained. Cleaning and lubricating the chain of his bike had been a part of his regular vehicle maintenance routine.
However, on December 30, 2020, the while cleaning his Bullet motorbike, his left thumb suddenly got trapped in the chain of the motorbike. He reflexly pulled back his hand, but the distal half of his thumb was completely amputated and avulsed. Mr. Rohan immediately contacted an orthopaedic surgeon, who had treated him for a previous injury. He was advised to immediately rush to Global Hospital, Mumbai and meet Dr Nilesh Satbhai. This timely referral was the real game changer for Mr. Ajgaonkar.
Dr Nilesh G Satbhai, Head of Department - Plastic, Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgery and Transplant Surgery, Global Hospitals, Mumbai, said, "Rohan's case is not an isolated incident. We get several cases of youngsters or bike enthusiasts who come for finger crush injuries, total or near-total amputations owing to bike chain related accidents. If people manage to preserve the amputated part and reach the hospital on time, we can reconstruct the digits or re-attach the detached fingers with the help of microvascular surgery."
After reaching Global Hospital, Mumbai, Rohan was immediately prepared for surgery and shifted to the operation theatre. The completely amputated part of the left thumb was re-attached to its original position by a complex surgery using an operating microscope.
"All the important structures were dissected, identified and prepared on both the patient side and the amputated part. The bones were fixed using a stainless-steel wire. The blood vessels of the thumb (artery and veins) were then connected to each other to restore the blood circulation of the amputated part of the thumb. The blood vessels at this level are very tiny (often less than 1 mm in diameter). The threads (sutures) required to join these blood vessels are much thinner than human hair, and are barely visible to naked eyes. Hence, such procedures can only be performed under operating microscope. The nerves, and tendons were then repaired. Reconstructive Microsurgery aims to restore the normal form and function of the body part to its maximum extent", said Dr Nilesh Satbhai.
The patient was monitored closely over the next week to ensure that the replanted thumb remained viable. Having recovered without any complications he was discharged after 1 week.
"During my bi-monthly cleaning of my bike which I do myself, I had my bike's engine on. This resulted in the cleaning cloth to get stuck in the chain. As I tried to pull the cloth out my finger got trapped as well. I was stunned by the pain and sight of blood. However, on the ground I saw the part of the thumb that had been cut off. A timely surgery performed by the hospital saved my thumb. I am thankful to the doctors who helped restore my quality of life this New Year. I advise bike lovers like me to be cautious while cleaning their vehicles or get it done from a professional," said Rohan Ajgaonkar pointing out the risks untrained hands take when cleaning their vehicles.