Warning: Story Contains Graphic Images
Doctors successfully attached a woman’s scalp back to her head after it got torn off in a freak accident in just four hours.
The 64-year-old woman from Japan was quickly rushed to hospital after her hair was caught and pulled into a mechanism from a high-powered cotton spinning machine.
Images and the tale of the incredible work done by the highly skilled has now been published in the British Medical Journal.
I know what you’re thinking…
Dr Jun Karibe and Dr Toshiharu Minabe, authors of the paper published in British Medical Journal, write that the woman in question was not wearing a helmet when the horrific accident took place. When the tear occurred it took off the top of her nose, the upper third of both ears and ‘extended down to the lower occipital area’.
Within a few hours of being admitted into A&E plastic surgeons were able to reattach her scalp to the rest of her face.
Since the successful surgery this unique medical case has been made available to the public on the BMJ, a rare example of ‘scalp avulsion’ which can be a very complicated procedure due to the blood cells and nerves involved.
The doctors state this is the second successful case of someone with scalp avulsion performed in Japan.
However given the nature of the unfortunate accident there were some things which they couldn’t fix.
Although the blood vessels were successfully reattached the doctors discovered the left side remains blocked, therefore she now has to rely on blood flow coming in from the right side of her face. Additionally the surgeons couldn’t reconnect the nerves to her scalp, meaning she has no feeling on that part of her head.
She also needed a skin graft two weeks after her surgery after she got a lesion (a region in an organ or tissue which has suffered damage through injury or disease, such as a wound, ulcer, abscess, or tumour) of the left side of her face after her skin began to die due to lack of blood.
Despite these setbacks her hair has grown back, she’s regained sensation on the sides and front of her temple, she can move her forehead muscles and right eyebrow and she can close both eyelids. Quite remarkable when you consider the accident happened only a year ago.
The patient added that post-surgery she’s ‘very satisfied with the aesthetic result’ and has ‘no problems in daily life activities’.