18 January 2013

Ghana: KATH Surgeon Performs Amazing Hand Transplant

Kumasi — AN ORTHOPAEDIC Surgeon at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has now become the toast of many patients, who have miraculously survived amputation as a result of the doctor's exploits.

How Dr. Osman Saani, a 42-year-old surgeon at the Trauma and Orthopedic Department of the hospital is able to stitch completely severed hands and other parts of bodies of patients to ensure their survival, continues to attract attention from management and patients who visit the hospital to seek medical care.

Dr. Osman has singlehandedly performed several major transplants since he joined the medical team of the hospital three years ago, saving many patients who almost had their hands and other severed parts amputated.

The exploits of Dr. Saani came to the attention of The Chronicle when this reporter visited the hospital on Monday.

Some patients with their wrist and fingers completely severed were busily being attended to by the medical practitioner, whilst others who had their transplant successfully done had also come for regular check up.

The Istanbul University trained surgeon told The Chronicle in an interview that averagely he performs between five to six re-plantation every day, and depending on the gravity of the damage, it takes some six hours minimum and 10 hours maximum, to complete one operation.

He said after the operation, most patients take 32 hours to recuperate and once they recuperate, the patient is encouraged to regularly visit the facility for the sore to be attended to, until it is completely healed.

Even though Dr. Saani could not remember the number of patients who have survived the operation, he indicated that hundreds of both micro and major operations had successfully been done.

He indicated that once the chopped hands or fingers are kept tight and free from the external harsh environment, 32 hours after the incident, the tendency that the patient will survive and have his or her hands successfully replanted is high.

Attributing his success story to God's guidance and determination, Dr. Saani said he was motivated to specialize in orthopaedic and trauma surgery, after seeing the two hands of a relative completely amputated as a result of road accident.

"I was saddened upon my return from Turkey to see the two hands of my brother completely severed, because of an accident and this motivated me to undertake further study in orthopaedic and trauma surgery," he indicated.

He noted that a lot of techniques go into performing the re-plantation, explaining that the process begins with the rough surgery, bone fixing and attending to the tendons and vessels.

Dr. Saani, however, explained that the most important step towards ensuring a successful operation is to first of all take good care of the extremely inured part and this he said, must be kept in an ice-pack, but not completely in contact with the ice, so that there would be continued flow of blood.

"We first of all examine the amputated extremist to make sure if it can be salvaged; then we fix the bones, attend to the tendons and the vessels before the nerves," he explained.

Dr. Saani, therefore, called on patients who experience such situations not to lose hope or resort to any unorthodox means, but report them to the hospital for attention and medical care.

"It is worrying to see legs and hands being amputated, when there are medical advances that can save such patients," he lamented.

Meanwhile, some patients who spoke to the paper were full of praises for the unique exploit of Dr. Saani, and commended to the management of the hospital for instituting the department.

One of them, a 38-year-old mother of two, who spoke on anonymity, said she was assaulted by her husband with a machete and had her wrist completely chopped.

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