The finger of Milko Ivanov, who had a work accident in Bulgaria 2 months ago and whose left thumb was caught in a press machine, was saved from being amputated in a 4.5-hour surgery in Turkey. Mr. Ivanov, stating that he is very happy, said, “I could not get any results in Sofia and Germany. The doctors said my thumb had to be amputated. But, in Turkey, they saved my finger from being amputated. Thank you very much.”
Milko Ivanov (52), owner of a food company in Bulgaria, had a work accident two months ago. The upper part of his left thumb which was crushed by a 220-degrees Celsius-hot press machine for approximately 3 minutes during the accident, and its tendons, veins and skin were severely injured and necrotic (died).
The Finger Saved With Tissue Transplantation
Doctors told Ivanov, who sought care in two hospitals in Sofia and then went to Germany after failing to get results, that his finger could not be saved and had to be amputated. As time passed over the accident, the wound developed a bacterial infection that was resistant to antibiotic therapy. Mr. Ivanov, whose thumb became unusable, reached Dr. Uğur Anıl Bingöl, an associate professor staff surgeon and the chair of the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery in Yeditepe University Kozyatağı Hospital. His finger, which was said to be requiring amputation in his country and Germany, survived after receiving antibiotic treatment and tissue transplant surgery in Yeditepe University Kozyatağı Hospital.
Associate Professor Dr. Uğur Anıl Bingöl, giving information about the operation and the patient, said, “In the last days of October, the patient had a work accident. His left thumb was caught in a 220-degree Celsius hot press machine. Due to the crush, the death of the upper part of the finger, and its tendons, veins and bone tissue occurred. After gaining no results in Bulgaria, he went to Germany. And, when the process? got longer there and the finger got worse, he went back to his country. In Bulgaria, due to the development of an antibiotic-resistant bacterium in the finger and the worsening course of the condition of his finger, the decision was made to amputate.”
Associate Professor Dr. Bingöl, stating that they saved the finger with tissue transplantation, said “When the patient arrived, we cleansed his wound first. A bacterium that is resistant to almost all antibiotics had developed in his wound. By applying antibiotic therapy, we eliminated the patient's infection. We started culturing new tissue in the area of the wound. A week later, we harvested a tissue together with the veins from the patient’s arm, and transplanted it to the injured area; and saved the finger.”
Associate Professor Dr. Bingöl, expressing that the operation went smoothly, said, “The surgery lasted 4 hours and 30 minutes. The back part and the tendon of the patient's finger were reconstructed. Maybe the patient's finger will not look like it used to be, but he will be able to use it as almost good as he used to be. There will be some change in its appearance when we look from an aesthetic standpoint”
Associate Professor Dr. Bingöl, said, “When the thumb is completely lost, we lose almost the half of the hand functions. Therefore, our main goal was to protect the thumb. The patient will be able to return to his daily work within 3 weeks.”
Yeditepe University Hospital Aesthetic, Plastic Reconstructive Surgery surgeon staff Associate Professor Dr. Bingöl, emphasizing the need to intervene quickly and correctly to avoid serious outcomes of this type of injury, said, “A wrong intervention can lead to a life-long injury. If the intervention is performed late, loss of function may develop even in the absence of textural damage. Especially in patients older than the age of 40 years, hand dysfunction becomes even more prominent. ”
Associate Professor Dr. Uğur Anıl Bingöl said, “We have experience, because we frequently see hand injuries due to work accidents in our country. We decide quickly what to do with the incoming patients, and we move into practice. The number of trauma-specialist surgeons may not be sufficient in countries where such injuries are less common. Therefore, they can be late while choosing the correct treatment. Turkey has become one of the most important countries in the region and in the world with regards to the reconstructive surgery.”
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