WEB EXCLUSIVE: An unusual transplant concerning a severed thumb - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

WEB EXCLUSIVE: An unusual transplant concerning a severed thumb

An unusual transplant in California has allowed a mechanic to restore the look of his hand after his thumb was severed in an accident. Surgeons at St. Mary's Medical Center in San Francisco replaced Mike Stevens' severed thumb with his own big toe.

Dr. Charles Lee, a reconstructive micro-surgeon, said today it looks like the surgery on Wednesday was a success.  "Every digit has nerves, has blood vessels, arteries, and artery and a vein. It's got tendons that allow you to flex and extend, you've got to connect the bone as well" "It looks pretty good right now, and it's going to function hopefully even better."

Although unusual, toe to thumb transplants are needed occasionally, but Dr. Lee says this one was unusual because so much of the thumb was severed.

Stevens will have to adjust to life walking minus the toe, but he should be able to move all his fingers within five weeks, and be able to use his new thumb normally in about a year.

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