A surgeon in Brazil has saved a man’s hand by implanting it in a pocket in his stomach following an industrial accident.
Carlos Mariotti, 42, was operating a machine at a factory when his hand was sucked into the equipment, severing two of his fingers.
Colleagues rushed to his aid, wrenching the hand out of the machinery and swathing it in bandages, before Mr Mariotti was rushed to hospital.
Boris Brandao, an orthopaedic and traumatology surgeon at Santa Otilia hospital in southern Brazil believed he could save Mr Mariotti’s hand, the Independent reported.
He did so by embedding the worker’s hand in pocket created in his stomach, where it will remain for 42 days while it grows new tissues and tendons.
Eventually it is hoped that the hand will be capable of receiving a skin graft.
“If we can save a hand we always try to find a way to do so,” Dr Brandao explained.
The technique of grafting a damaged or severed hand has been tried before.
Last July surgeons in China restored the use of a hand severed in an industrial accident by grafting it onto a man’s ankle for a month before re-attaching it to his arm. Again the purpose was to allow the tendons and nerves to heal.
Dr Brandao said Mr Mariotti will require weekly check-ups and will not get full movement back.
“But he will have a working hand and will be able to do the pincer movement. At least this is a better quality of life compared to having an amputated hand.