UAE plastic surgeon saves thumb of mechanic chopped off in an accident

UAE plastic surgeon saves thumb of mechanic chopped off in an accident

The amputated thumb was reattached performing a complex eight-hour-long reconstruction surgery

Dubai: The thumb of a 47-year-old Indian mechanic, which got amputated in an accident, was saved by a plastic surgeon here in a private hospital. A mechanic at a printing company in Jebel Ali, Kunhikrishnan Chanavalappil, lost his thumb in an accident at his workplace. 

An expat in the UAE for the past 22 years, Kunhikrishnan said it happened in a fraction of a second. “It was 9 in the morning. We were about to start our work. I was setting up the machine, and it suddenly happened. I saw the thumb getting chopped off and blood gushing out of my hand. I do not know what thoughts ran through my head at the time. I was conscious and stable. But could not move,” he explained. 

Shocked to see blood gushing out of his hand, Kunhikrishnan’s co-workers took the thumb, placed it in a container with ice, and rushed him to nearby Aster Hospital at Cedars, Jebel Ali. 

The doctors there referred him to Aster Hospital, Qusais, as the injury was grave and required a plastic surgeon to fix it at the earliest. 

Undergoes surgery 

At the hospital, he was attended to by Dr Rajkumar Ramachandran, specialist plastic reconstructive and micro-vascular surgeon. 

After evaluation, the medical team swiftly moved Kunhikrishnan to the operation theatre where he underwent immediate surgery lasting about eight hours to reattach his amputated thumb. 

According to Dr Rajkumar, Kunhikrishnan’s was a complex case. “His thumb had got completely amputated. In such cases, immediate surgery is the only option. Fortunately, he reached the hospital on time, We performed the reconstruction surgery reattaching the blood vessels, nerves, tendons and bone using an operating microscope, He got discharged after three days of post-operative care in the hospital and will need physiotherapy,” explained the doctor. 


According to Dr Rajkumar, whenever there is an amputation, the body part should be washed in clean water and wrapped in a clean moist cloth and kept inside a waterproof plastic cover with ice packs on top of it. The patient should immediately be brought to a medical facility where micro-vascular surgery is available. The ideal time for reattachment is within 6-8 hours. In Kunhikrishnan’s case, he reached the hospital well before this time frame.

Ten days after the surgery, he was found to be doing well. “My family and I are happy and relieved now. We were going through extreme stress and pain during this period. A thumb is a crucial part of the body and essential for all hand functions. Now, I am relaxed. The wound is healing, and I have started moving my thumb slowly,” said Kunhikrishnan. 


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