UAMS Performs Rare Hand Reattachment Surgery

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) performed a hand reattachment surgery July 28, one of the few times this rare and complicated procedure has been done. The stitches were removed today and the 58-year-old man is expected to make a good recovery.


Randy Bindra, M.D., professor of orthopaedic hand surgery in the UAMS College of Medicine and director of the Center for Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery, performed the operation on Louis Delhommer of Pine Bluff, Ark., after he completely severed his left hand in a work-related accident involving a band saw. Delhommer’s thumb remained intact while his palm and four fingers were detached.


“Reattaching a hand is a challenging and delicate procedure. We are thrilled at the success of Mr. Delhommer’s surgery and expect him to regain the majority of his mobility within four to six months,” Bindra said.


Delhommer’s accident occurred at his workplace at about 11 a.m. July 28. After being rushed to the Jefferson Regional Medical Center emergency room in Pine Bluff he was taken by ambulance to UAMS, about 50 miles away. His surgery was underway by 1 p.m.


“When we got the initial call about Mr. Delhommer’s condition, we informed the emergency room doctor to place the hand in a wet sponge, seal it in a bag and place it in a container of ice water. When he arrived, the conditions were ideal for the procedure to take place,” Bindra said. The surgery lasted eight hours.


The microvascular surgery requires specialized instruments, including surgical thread thinner than a strand of hair. Delhommer will be instructed to perform passive exercises for several weeks to strengthen the tendons in his hand. Within six weeks he is expected to be able to start to make a fist and after six months will be able to perform most everyday tasks, Bindra said.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, five centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,200 students and 660 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.1 billion a year.


UAMS centers of excellence are the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute.