There’s no doubt about it — there are few things more anxiety-inducing than the thought of going under the knife. And while there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have to get surgery at some point in your life, it probably won’t be as extreme as what you see in the news. Perhaps you’ve been keeping up with the human head transplant slated to take place later this year. It’s the first of its kind and incredibly risky, but surgeon Sergio Canavero is confident he can pull it off.
Whether the head transplant is successful or not, there have been seriously strange surgeries that have taken place over the years, many of which have been a major success. Sorry — your wisdom tooth extraction or hip replacement just isn’t that unique anymore. Here are some truly wacky procedures.
1. Preserving a hand by grafting it to a leg
You probably didn’t know it was possible, but one man was actually able to save his hand thanks to this weird surgery. A few years ago, a man in China had his hand severed from a spinning factory blade. The part of the arm that was severed was too damaged to immediately reattach the hand, so the surgeons grafted the hand to the man’s calf while the arm took some time to heal. Connecting the hand to blood vessels allowed them to keep the tissue alive.
Dr. Jess Ting, assistant professor of plastic surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York, told CNN, “It’s like the leg is just babysitting the amputated hand until the arm is ready for it.” The hand has since been reattached, and the man is even able to move his fingers a little bit.