A Brazilian man had his hand surgically sewn to a pocket in his stomach as a last-ditch effort to save it from being amputated.
Doctors decided to put 42-year-old Carlos Mariotti's left hand in a soft tissue pouch inside of his stomach to save it from being removed following a work accident that tore off all of the skin on his
hand. Mariotti was operating a coil-manufacturing machine at the plastic factory where he works in Orleans, Brazil, when his hand became caught and dragged into the equipment.
"Mr. Marriott suffered a de-gloving injury, which left him with very little skin on the palm and back of his hand, exposing the bones and tendons inside," orthopedic doctor Boris Brandao told the Daily Mail.
"This was a very large and delicate injury and the only place we could fit the whole hand was in the abdomen," the doctor continued. "Without this procedure, there would be a high risk of infection and the tissue and tendons would rot away."
Mariotti said he feels lucky that his hand will be able to be salvaged following the injury.
"I still get very emotional when I think about the accident," Mariotti said, according to the Daily Mail. "But it was only when doctors told me I could lose my hand that I [realized] the gravity of the situation."
"When I woke up from the operation I didn't know whether it was still there," he continued. "I couldn't believe it when they said they had tucked my hand inside me."
A heavy, secure bandage was placed around the middle of his body to keep the hand securely in place, though doctors warned that he can only move his hand "gently around" to "avoid the hand becoming stiff."
"It's a really weird feeling trying to wiggle my fingers inside my body and creepy seeing my tummy protrude slightly as I prod around," Mariotti said.
"In order to keep the wounded hand alive, we opened the abdomen, took off the skin and put it inside the cavity to protect it," Brandao said. "The patient's hand must stay in the pocket for about 42 days to ensure it develops new tissue and tendon material which is capable of receiving a replanted skin graft."
He will require weekly checkups to ensure his hand is healing properly.
"Mr. Mariotti will suffer impaired function, as he will not get all the movement back in his hand," Brandao said. "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."
In a similar incident, an 87-year-old Texas man had his hand sewn to his abdomen in an attempt to save it from being amputated after he almost lost it while changing a tire on a trailer.
"It’s a funny feeling," Casey Reyes told Medical Daily of the sensation he felt following the procedure. "Anything to get me well.”