The Hospital’s quest to become the preferred centre of excellence and innovation has once again come to the fore. We have become the first to restore a completely severed hand at the wrist back to life.
Like the biblical restoring of Peter’s chopped-off ear by The Christ, a 10-member medical professionals worked for six hours, repairing 25 structures in the wrist in order to restore the hand of a young man whose wrist was accidentally severed while at work. The man (name withheld) was servicing a machine when his colleague accidentally switched in on, resulting in the accident.
The young man was brought to the Hospital, after he refused amputation from another health facility he had visited. He opted to be brought to Korle Bu for a second opinion and luckily, experts here restored his restored for him.
The incident and surgery took place late last month. In an interview, the leader of the team, Dr. Edem Anyigba, a Consultant Plastic Surgeon, said apart from the expertise, a number of reasons made the surgery successful.
He said firstly, the proper preservation of the patient’s severed wrist made their work easy. “When the patient got the Hospital, the wrist was in a tied polythene, and the polythene was then put in another polythene before putting it in ice”, adding “it is important that a severed body part does not get in direct contact with water in order to enhance restoration”.
Dr. Anyigba also noted that the availability of a Carl Ziess Opmi microscope in the Hospital greatly enhanced their work. This microscope, is capable of enlarging objects between 30 to 40 times its original size. This modern microscope is however, unavailable in most health facilities in Ghana.
Another factor which ensured success was the time within which the patient was brought to the Hospital after the accident. Dr. Angyiba noted that a patient whose body part has been severed needs to be at a health facility and prepared for surgery within four hours after the incident. In the case of the young man, he was within the four-hour period and that also ensured success of the surgery.
The lead surgeon praised the nine of professional who joined him and worked tirelessly for hours to restore back to life the hand of the gentleman.
The team which undertook the ground-breaking surgery are Dr. Edem Anyigba, Dr. Osei Bonsu, Dr. Warigbani Pieterson, Cynthia Quarshie, Phyllis Lathbridge, Ellen Adu-Gyamfi, Joan Kissiedu and Mr. Daniel Akoto.
The Korle Bu Teaching Hospital is still the leading health facility with expertise in Ghana and across West Africa sub-region.