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'Super-surgeon' Dr Cavadas reattaches US marine's severed hand
06 May 2018 @ 18:11

SPANISH 'super-surgeon' Dr Pedro Cavadas has reattached a North American Naval officer's severed hand after the 21-year-old suffered a submarine accident off the coast of Cartagena (Murcia).

Following the 'catastrophic' crash 70 miles offshore in the USA's Sixth Fleet on March 27, it would take 10 hours before the victim got to Manises Hospital, close to Valencia airport, as he had to be taken back to dry land by lifeboat and then flown by helicopter, arriving at 04.30 on March 28.

This delay would make the operation far more complex as blood flow to the hand was lost.

But Dr Cavadas worked through the early hours of the morning and the soldier was out of theatre by 09.30.

He had to create and artificial flow of blood to the injured man's hand before attempting to reattach it, but was quietly confident of success given that it had been torn off at the wrist, meaning it was a clean break.

Micro-surgery and reconstructive surgery, as well as a skin graft from the patient's right lower leg, were all involved in the five-hour operation.

“It's great operating on soldiers, because they're happy with everything you do, have a high pain threshold and nothing bothers them,” said a cheerful Dr Cavadas.

“I never mind operating on patients who are so cooperative and easy to handle.”

Although the surgery was now over two months ago, it is only now that details have been revealed in the media as the soldier needed time to ensure it would be a success.



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