Two and a half months after his sexual organ was completely severed in an assault, a 28-year-old man is set to lead a normal life again after a Delhi hospital successfully reattached the amputated penis.
The unmarried man from Uttar Pradesh underwent a seven-hour microsurgery at the Sir Ganga Rama Hospital (SGRH), a leading private hospital in the national capital.
"Nearly six hours after the incident occurred around 8 p.m. in a city around 200 km from Delhi, the victim reached us in our hospital. The operation was done under high magnification using an operation microscope," R.K. Khazachi, head of the plastic surgery department of SGRH, told reporters Saturday.
"It's a very rare operation and this is the first case of reattachment of a completely amputated phallus in Delhi," Khazachi told IANS.
The man was assaulted by a gang that severed his penis, though the doctors were not willing to reveal the name of the Uttar Pradesh city and the date of the incident.
The doctors said the patient was urinating normally these days and the sensation had returned to the organ. But it will take another three to four months before he recovered completely.
"After that period the man can have a normal married life with no sexual dysfunction," said Aditya Aggarwal, one of the doctors who performed the surgery.
Aggarwal said that cases of amputated organs like hand, finger and leg come to them regularly but such a case was very rare. Nearly a decade back, the hospital had performed an operation to reattach a partially cut penis.
"I can urinate normally now and hope to have a normal life in a couple of hours," said the patient requesting anonymity.
Doctors said the "arteries, veins, nerves, urethra and erectile tissues were identified and dissected in the amputated part and marked with very fine sutures".
The blood vessels were very small measuring approximately 1 mm in diameter and needed high magnification for identification but "we managed to do it successfully".
"These were then joined together and the patient was given anticoagulant to prevent clotting of blood circulation. The reattached part was monitored closely on an hourly basis for 48 hours after the surgery," Khazachi added.
Experts also said that in the case of an amputated organ, the severed part should be kept in a dry cool condition till the patient is taken to a hospital. The part should be kept in a separate bag, which can be kept in an ice bag. "The bag-in bag technique should be used to keep the organ dry cool," said Khazachi.
He said that successful reattachment of cut-off of body parts depends on when the patient reaches a hospital and the preservation of the organ.
While an amputated arm can be reattached if it reaches a hospital within four hours, an amputated hand and finger can be reattached within eight and 12 hours respectively.
The SGRH has conducted such reattachment surgeries upon 250 patients in the last 10 years of which 50 were conducted in 2006 alone.