Australian man's thumb surgically replaced by toe

Australian man’s thumb surgically replaced by toe

Australian man’s thumb surgically replaced by toe

The 20-year-old Australian Jacques Mitchell will live with his big toe in place of his thumb.

Zac Mitchell, a cattle worker was injured while working on a remote farming property in Western Australia. "A bull kicked my hand and knocked on the fence", he describes the incident himself.

Zac was initially reluctant to get such a surgery but the cattle worker agreed to the transplant operation at a hospital in Sydney two weeks ago.

Surgeons twice tried to reattach his thumb to his hand before opting to repurpose the big toe from his right foot.

Although Mitchell wanted a plastic one doctors said they needed to cut his toe off as there wasn't another option.

"It's a bit of a insane idea - [patients] do not want to be injured in another part of the body", Dr. Sean Nicklin, lead plastic surgeon at Sydney Eye Hospital, told the BBC.

"[However] even if you have got four good fingers, if you do not have something to pinch against them, your hand has lost a huge amount of its function".

He underwent eight hours of surgery to transplant his toe onto the area where his thumb once was.

Two surgical teams are required for the procedure- one team removes the toe and the other team readies the hand for a transfer.

He faces a 12-month rehabilitation period before he can return to work, but his mother told the BBC that his walking was nearly back to normal just two weeks after the surgery.

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