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A 22-year-old Afghanistan national underwent a successful rare surgery, during which doctors transplanted his toe to reconstruct his thumb, at Jaypee Hospital in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. A team of doctors performed the complex surgery for about seven hours on Irfaan-ul-lah, who lost three fingers and a thumb of his right hand in a bomb blast incident two years ago.
The treatment, involving multiple stages, was started earlier this month. The doctors first assessed the patient’s hand to find out the extent of damage to the bones, joints, tendons, arteries and veins in his hand. In the second stage, they performed the surgery to implant the second toe of his left foot onto his right hand, and give it a structure of a thumb.
Irfaan-ul-lah, who was left with only the index finger on his right hand after the blast was unable to perform day-to-day activities such as eating, drinking and writing. But now he is able to hold any object with his right hand and carry out routine functions, the hospital said in a statement.
“We measured the length of the patient’s thumb and according to its size and structure damage, we cut the second toe of his left foot and implanted it in place of his lost thumb. We had to be really careful while removing the toe, making sure that all joints, ligaments and arteries are absolutely fine and functional after the surgery,” Dr. Ashish Rai, senior consultant at the Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery Department, said, according to Hindustan Times.
“In the next stage, one more finger will be implanted in the same hand so that the patient is able to perform all the tasks with his three fingers,” Dr Saurabh Gupta, consultant at the department said in a hospital statement.
Irfaan-ul-lah, who had visited various hospitals in Pakistan for treatment before coming to India, was elated. “The last two years were terrible for me. I used to feel helpless as I was not able to do any work on my own,” he said, HT reported. “I am thankful to the doctors for their efforts and now I can at least perform my regular activities and am no longer dependent on others all the time.”