Dubai: Emergency surgery saves Italian woman's finger after severe injury

She flew in from Saudi Arabia to avail medical treatment in the UAE


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Sat 10 Dec 2022, 10:29 AM

Last updated: Sat 10 Dec 2022, 6:36 PM

Surgeons at a hospital in Dubai successfully reattached a finger of an Italian woman who had flown to the UAE seeking urgent treatment for severe injuries on her hand.

Daniela, a freelancer in production and events in Saudi Arabia, said: “I accidentally got my fingers stuck between two rocks, resulting in one finger almost getting completely severed.”

“When I realised the intensity of my injuries, I decided to fly to Dubai to seek treatment here,” she said.

Daniela consulted Dr Marouane Bouloudhnine, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, and Dr Jamil Al Jamali, consultant hand surgeon (specialising in plastic and reconstructive microsurgery) at Burjeel Hospital. “I was rushed into emergency surgery and according to the doctor, the volar injury on the ring finger and loss of blood supply in the middle finger was examined due to injured vessels and the middle finger was only held together by some skin,” said Daniela.

The surgeons noticed that there was also a high risk of amputation due to the severity of the trauma and as more than 30 hours had passed since the accident.

A challenging case

“To avoid amputation, we decided to try the re-vascularisation of the left middle finger through open reduction and internal fixation as well as artery and nerve repair. We used a K-wire to stabilize the flexor tendon and the dislocation of the joint.”

“Dr Jamali used a degloving flap to give her a chance to maintain her finger. We then repaired the nerve on the left ring finger and again used a degloving flap. Finally, we checked both fingertips with a needle to ensure good blood flow,” said Dr Bouloudhnine, who completed the surgery in one-and-a-half hours.

The case was challenging as the blood vessels needed to be repaired under the operating microscope using microstructures for the re-vascularisation procedure. As there was a small amount of skin necrosis or dying skin tissue, the doctors waited five days to see if the patient needed secondary surgery.

“We were able to efficiently work together to reattach the finger and repair the injuries on her hand. Dr Jamali worked with the skin flaps that will help heal the wound and restore function,” said Dr Bouloudhnine.

Timely intervention

Daniela is now looking at a recovery process that could take 2-3 months. She started intensive physiotherapy after the surgery to regain proper function. She is glad she decided to come to Dubai as her finger was saved by timely medical intervention.

“Thanks to the doctors in Dubai for saving my finger. After seeing the injury, I was worried about what will happen to my finger. I feel better now,” said Daniela, who is on the path to recovery.

What to do in case of finger amputation

  • Take a cloth or gauze and use it to apply pressure on the wound
  • Keep the injured hand elevated and continue applying pressure to control the bleeding
  • Wrap the amputated digit in saline-soaked gauze or cloth
  • Place it in a plastic bag and store the bag in an ice box. Do not let the digit come in direct contact with the ice
  • Transport the patient and the amputated digit to the hospital


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