Chathura’s microvascular surgery with Interplast is a first for Sri Lanka - Interplast

Chathura’s microvascular surgery with Interplast is a first for Sri Lanka

Chathura’s surgery was his first step to a better life and a big step forward for microvascular surgery in Sri Lanka.

Interplast volunteer surgeons performed Sri Lanka’s first microvascular free groin flap transfer, boosting four-year-old Chathura’s chance for a more fulfilling, engaged life ahead. But Chatura isn’t the only one to benefit from this surgical breakthrough.

The five-hour operation was observed by a large contingent of local surgeons. This procedure provided an important teaching case for local surgeons, so they can continue to treat complex cases like Chathura’s when Interplast is not there.

Chathura was born with a congenital anomaly called Distal Arthrogryposis, also more commonly known as ‘wind-blown’ hands. His fingers deviate away from the thumb and the thumb is contracted into the hand. This means that he is unable to open his hands to a larger grasp, severely limiting his ability to function, develop self-care skills, and when he is older, his job prospects.

To release Chathura’s hand from a clawed position, Interplast volunteer surgeons, Professor Chris Coombs and Mr David McCombe, transferred a flap of tissue from Chathura’s groin to his left hand, suturing together the blood vessels that were about .8mm in size to re-establish the blood supply. The sutures used were approximately half the thickness of a human hair.

Chathura will require time in a plaster cast and splinting by hand therapists to protect the realignment of his fingers during his recovery. He will need further surgery to his other hand; surgery that can now be performed by local surgeons thanks to the knowledge Chris and David generously shared.

This program receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Chathura before and after
Chathura before (left) and after (right)
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.