Dr. Leena Jain on the Toe-to-Thumb Surgery, a Transformative Surgery for the Absent Thumb

Dr. Leena Jain on the Toe-to-Thumb Surgery, a Transformative Surgery for the Absent Thumb

New Delhi (India), November 7: Mumbai’s leading Plastic Reconstructive Micro surgeon and hand surgeon, Dr. Leena Jain has demonstrated expertise in performing toe-to-thumb transfer surgery. The toe and thumb transfer surgery is groundbreaking as it restores the function and aesthetics of patients with upper limb deficiencies.

Dr Leena Jain states, ‘The toe-to-thumb transfer by microsurgery is one of the marvels of modern plastic surgery. It highlights the extent of precision and innovation involved as the plastic surgeon connects the blood vessels, nerves and tendons to ensure functionality, resilience and adaptability of the transferred toe, which becomes the thumb for the patient’.

Dr. Leena Jain is a Hand, Reconstructive Micro surgeon and plastic surgeon in Mumbai associated with Lilavati Hospital in Bandra and has founded the Plastikos Clinic, her clinic in Borivali, Mumbai. With more than nine years of experience, she is an expert in Reconstructive Microsurgery, gender reassignment surgeries, breast surgeries, hand surgeries, tuboplasty, Facial Nerve Paralysis surgeries, and so on.

She adds that the transfer is one of the key applications of microsurgical procedures, especially in reconstructive surgery. The thumb is considered the king of the digits, and its absence affects the functionality of the hand and the patient as a whole.

Highlighting the toe to thumb transfer procedure and its advantages, she shares reasons why the toe is chosen to replace the thumb.  She states that the tissue of the fingertips is smooth, resilient and sensitive. Alongside, the fingertip is flexible, robust and, most importantly, precise gripping function. Through plastic microsurgery, it is possible to restore the bone, flexible joints and tendons.  Hence, the toe transfer emerges as a viable solution to replace the absent thumb and improve the hand’s functionality.

According to the top plastic surgeons in India, the toe-to-thumb transfer involves two lengthy procedures. After anesthesia, the plastic surgeon removes the chosen toe while preserving the nerves, tendons, bones and blood vessels of the toe required for its transplantation as a thumb to the patient’s hand.

The plastic surgeon then proceeds to prepare the area of the thumb to receive the toe, identifies and isolates blood vessels, nerves and tendons to match to corresponding structures of the transferred toe so as to restore function, sensation and blood supply.

Once the toe is harvested from the foot with its labelled structures, its bone is first fixed to that of great toe by a stainless steel wire. Subsequently, tendons are attached and using microsurgical techniques the blood vessels of the transplanted toe are connected with those at the recipient site, which is essential for blood circulation and the survival of the transplanted toe tissue. This procedure is referred to as microvascular anastomosis.

The nerves from the transplanted toe are connected to the recipient site to enable sensory functioning, and its newly formed thumb should be able to sense. The tendons and muscles are attached during the third phase of the transplantation procedure for gripping and functional mobility. 

The bone of the transplanted toe is fixed with the thumb bone using suitable orthopedic wires and hardware, which give it stability and encourage healing. Finally, the plastic surgeon sutures the surgical site and applies a sterile dressing to the thumb and toe sites from where the toe was excised. After the transplantation procedure, the patient undergoes a long period of recovery, a rehabilitation programme, and regular monitoring to ensure proper healing.

Dr. Leena Jain says, ‘I have witnessed marvellous outcomes of the toe-to-thumb procedures in patients. They experience better grip, dexterity and functioning of the entire hand. Also, with the toe in place, the hand looks normal, boosting the patient’s self-confidence and image. However, I advise my patients to take proper care and undergo the recommended rehabilitation for the best possible outcomes. Without a thumb the hand can do almost nothing. With the thumb and just one or two fingers, the hand can go ahead with 90% of its functions

About Dr Leena Jain

Dr. Leena Jain is a highly dedicated plastic reconstructive microsurgeon and hand surgeon based in Mumbai. She offers comprehensive solutions to her patients who consult her for their limb deformities, vascular issues and aesthetic issues of their various body parts. She strives to help them resolve their issues while focusing on ensuring they live as normally as possible.

Her expertise includes reconstructive surgery, replantations, breast surgeries, facial nerve paralysis, gender reassignment surgeries, surgery for non-functioning (acontractile) bladder, Burns’ deformity corrective surgeries, and so on.

Contact Dr Leena Jain –

  • Plastikos Clinic, A Wing, 403, Lancelot Building, S. V. Road, Borivali West -400090
  • Ground Floor, Lilavati Hospital & Research Centre, 791, Krishna Chandra Marg, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050

Email: link.jain@gmail.com

Cell No: +91 98209 91853

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Tags: Health PNN