Microsurgery saves NY man's hands - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Microsurgery saves NY man's hands

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Jeffrey Bowden, 39, almost missed out on the fun this holiday season.

"Somehow my hand went through the blade of the saw and cut off five of my fingers," he said.

Bowden was working on a home improvement project the weekend before Thanksgiving and had a terrible accident.

"There was blood all over the deck over here, and then I wrapped it up in my sweatshirt," he said.

Doctors at a local emergency room told Bowden they may have to amputate, but his father found him an alternative at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Bowden was transferred there for a hand-saving operation. But time had passed and Bowden, a smoker, had already lost a lot of blood.

"Because it was delayed it made surgery more difficult and complicated," said Dr. Philip Torina, a microvascular and reconstructive surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Torina performed the difficult 10.5-hour procedure.

"We were able to reconnect his index finger with microsurgery, revascularize the finger, fix all the bone injuries and skin injuries as well," Torina said.

Bowden has to have intense physical therapy, but could regain most of the use of his hand.

"I get emotional just thinking about it," he said, "how lucky I really am."

Bowden also hasn't had a cigarette since the accident and has promised to keep that resolution for the new year.

Smoking causes a decrease in circulation of the blood, which is what made the surgery challenging. Bowden needs to keep his resolution to not smoke to prevent complications.

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