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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Sharjah doctors save man's foot by using skin from his forearm

The 42-year-old diabetic patient was suffering from an infection that had left the bone exposed

UAE doctors performed a 12-hour operation to save a man’s foot, which had been so damaged by infection the bone was exposed.

Doctors at Al Zahra Hospital in Sharjah performed a “free-flap surgery”, transferring tissue from the forearms of the diabetic patient, 42, to the infected area of his foot.

The operation, which was the first of its kind to be carried out at the hospital, was successful.

The doctors initially feared they would have no choice but to amputate the patient’s foot to save his life if they could not bring the infection under control.

The infection was so bad that it had to be cleaned during surgery, where it was discovered that it had destroyed a significant amount of tendons and skin. The diseased areas were removed, exposing 13 centimetres of bone and the loss of one of his toes.

“Given the decline of the patient’s foot and the onset of complications, we were proud to successfully treat it,” said orthopaedic consultant Dr Harpal Jadeja, one of several doctors involved in the operation.

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The patient said he was trying to remain hopeful but he knew his condition was bad and amputation was a real possibility.

“I had full faith that the team of doctors would do their best to work on my foot with the free-flap surgery, and I appreciated the professionalism, support and honesty with which the doctors and surgeons openly told me that the process didn’t guarantee a 100 per cent success,” he said.

“Since the operation I’ve been in good health and have been following a regimen of daily mobility exercises, and more mindful nutritional choices, along with post-operation medication and care to speed up the healing process.”