Microsurgerical Cases and Success Stories
Toes to digits transplants
A plastic surgical resident lost four fingers when he was trapped in a hospital building during the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City. Two toes transferred to his right hand permitted him to finish his training and begin practicing his profession.
In December 1985, Dr. Buncke and an eight surgeon team removed Dr. Francisco Bucio's second toes, complete with sections of the arteries, tendons and nerves that served them, and attached the toes to the stump of the sheared hand as the ring and pinkie fingers. The intricate connections for the blood vessels and nerves were made in a 14.5 hour operation performed under microscopes. Three weeks after the surgery, Francisco was able to flex his new fingers slightly. Hand therapists worked with Francisco daily, and at the end of six weeks, Francisco was able to sign his name! Dr. Francisco Bucio is currently a practicing plastic surgeon in Tijuana, Mexico, performing a full range of plastic surgery procedures with both of his hands.
A complete version of Dr. Francisco Bucio's amazing story can be found in "The Surgeon Who Dare to Hope," by Peter Michelmore, Reader's Digest, September 1992, pp. 38-42.
Second Toe TransplantA three-year-old child with congenital absence of all fingers of her right hand received two second toe transplants, establishing critical pinch and grasp.
Toe to Thumb TranplantThe thumb accounts for 50% of hand function and agility. A young woman lost her thumb in a water skiing accident. Great toe to hand transplantation restores the function of the hand with unmatched aesthetic result.
Fibula TransplantA six-year-old boy had an open tibial fracture which was subsequently complicated by osteomyelitis. He was transferred to The Buncke Clinic, where a gracilis muscle microvascular transplant provided wound coverage. Bone reconstruction was then performed using a fibula microvascular transplant. The boy is fully ambulatory and the leg has grown normally.
Facial Paralysis / Re-animationA six-year-old girl suffered right facial paralysis after removal of a tumor. One year after functional serratus anterior transplant she now smiles spontaneously.