CHANDIGARH: “Precise, synchronised and teamwork” is how Professor Ramesh Sharma, head of plastic surgery at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), described the seven-and-a-half hour complex reconstructive surgery to reattach the severed hand of an Assistant Sub Inspector of Punjab Police, which had been cut off by Nihangs on Sunday.
Dr Sharma, who headed the team of surgeons, anaesthetists and medical staff, said it’s a routine surgery for the team, which carries out around three such cases in a month. ASI Harjit Singh’s hand was chopped off with a sword and two other policemen were injured when the Nihangs attacked them in Patiala.
“50 structures have been microscopically sutured on the hand which was severed.
The hand was well preserved. After fixing the bones and restoring some veins and arteries for recirculation, we repaired the tendons, nerves and then the remaining corresponding arteries and veins were connected. As the hand was warm, we restored circulation,’’ Dr Sharma said. “The operation was technically complex and challenging,” said Dr Sharma, who has more than 30 years of experience and completed his MBBS from Government Medical College Rohtak in Haryana said.
Speaking about the time ASI Singh will take to recover, the doctor said, “It will take around six months for his hand to become functional. First, it has to heal. Then the functioning will improve gradually with physiotherapy. The rate of his post-surgery improvement will depend on his will power and sustained efforts. If all goes well, 90 per cent functioning of the hand will be restored.”