One of the most spectacular surgical procedures is the reattachment of an amputated extremity. The procedure is known as replantation surgery, similar to transplantation surgery. In transplant surgery a body part or organ is removed from one patient and transplanted to another. In replantation surgery a body part which has been accidentally removed is reattached or replanted to the original patient. All of us have read about farmers or equipment operators who have lost an arm or a leg in an accident. Once these procedures were headline news, but with advances in medicine and the availability of surgical microscopes and microsurgical instruments, these procedures are now more common. Several factors are involved in successful replantation surgery: the method of injury, location of the injury, age of the patient, health of the patient, method of transporting the body part, and the time from injury to the time in surgery.
THE PROPER WAY TO TRANSPORT A FINGER
- Wrap it in a moist hand towel or wash cloth.
- Place in a waterproof bag.
- Remove as much air from the bag as possible & seal.
- Place the bag on ice for transporting.
- Make sure the tissue does not come in direct contact with the ice.
- Safe transport of the body part can make or break the success of the attempted replant.