Plastic Surgeons Team Up to Give a Helping Hand
ABC7News.com in San Francisco reports on a new surgery center at St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco that uses a teamwork approach to perform complex reconstructive surgeries. The team includes Scott L. Hansen, M.D. (pictured right), Chief of Hand and Microvascular Surgery at UCSF and Charles Lee, M.D, St. Mary's Microsurgery Director:
Specialists from St. Mary's and UCSF are partnering to offer state-of-the-art treatment for patients like Garrett La Fever, who lost part of his hand in a woodworking accident.
"The piece I was cutting got bound up in-between fence and popped back and cut my thumb off," says La Fever.
Doctors reattached what was left, but the results were poor.
"The circulation was just so bad, I never fully recovered. it was kind of stuck in a downward position."
The thumb is responsible for 40 percent of the function of the hand which is why when doctors proposed removing Garrett's big toe and using it to create a new thumb, Garrett felt it was his best chance of regaining the use of his hand.
"I wanted to do it. I was sick of having that thumb and there was an option to get out of it."
"The ambulation and the function of the foot is minor compared to the gain that he gets in his hand," says Charles Lee, M.D, St. Mary's Microsurgery Director.
Dr. Charles Lee and UCSF plastic surgeon Scott Hansen performed the complex, 6-hour procedure as a team at St. Mary's Plastic Reconstructive and Orthopedic Surgery Center.
Dr. Hansen removed Garrett's toe and says "it takes about an hour, hour and half to dissect the tendons, nerves, blood vessels, the bone to get it prepared to detach it."