From sea urchin spines to bullets, the surgeon reveals the strangest things he’s removed from people’s hands
An American surgeon has revealed the shocking things he recently had to remove from people’s hands when they visit the hospital.
Nick Pappas of New Orleans, Louisiana, has been a practicing orthopedic surgeon for 10 years, spending his time removing foreign objects, inserting metal plates, and reattaching fingers.
In a viral TikTok video, the 43-year-old lists some of the most bizarre things that have gotten stuck in patients’ hands, including sea urchin spines, fishing hooks and bullets.
Nick Pappas, pictured above, of New Orleans, Louisiana, has been a practicing orthopedic surgeon for 10 years
In a viral TikTok video, the 43-year-old lists some of the most bizarre things that have gotten stuck in the hands of patients
Nick Pappas uses a powerful X-ray and MRI, and sometimes an ultrasound, to pinpoint the object, he said
Mr. Pappas, who works at a private hospital, recently started sharing the intricacies of his work on social media.
He said: “I have a private practice so I can teach and use social media to teach and educate people.
“People are interested in what it’s like if they ever have hand surgery and I can show them what it’s like to have a specific surgery.
“In terms of the things I’ve removed – everything, but every now and then something surprises me.
He frequently removes screws, but noted that he needs to identify the brand of the screw so he can use the correct screwdriver to remove it.
He also removed sea urchin spines after a patient fell on one of the creatures – with the spines embedded to the bone.
Nick also removes other items such as burn infected fingers, BB gun bullets, and electrical wires.
All the weird and wonderful objects Nick Pappas removed from his hands:
- metal wires
- sewing needles
- metal plates
- pine needles
- sea urchin spines
- catfish spines
- Arthritic Bones
- Extra fingers
- fingers with gangrene
- Rings over which the skin has grown
- Medical needles
- BB gun bullets
- fish hook
- tumors such as melanoma
“I’ve had a man with a snake bite that can balloon his whole hand,” he said.
“He had killed the snake after it attacked him and all the nurses were freaking out because the guy had a snake bite, the container and the dead snake he brought with him.
“Another is high-pressure paintwork injuries when someone sprays paint with a high-pressure gun.
“It can shoot from finger to palm or wrist to hand and that’s a surgical emergency because the paint can be so toxic.
“It can lead to amputation of the whole hand.
“Other times I see a lot of BB bullets and the patients don’t even realize they’re in the hand and then show up six months after the incident complaining of pain.
“I’ve also seen a lot of gunshots and if it’s a fragment of a bullet in the bone I usually leave it alone and watch it over time, but if it’s sticking out of the skin or it’s a full bullet, you remove it it .
“Generally, surgeons do not remove bullets from extremities unless they are causing pain, are very superficial, are in a joint, or are pressing on a neurovascular structure.
“Sometimes taking it out can be more damaging than just leaving it in, as long as it doesn’t cause problems.”
Before removing the object, Nick has an extensive routine that he undertakes to locate it.
He uses a powerful X-ray and MRI, and sometimes an ultrasound, to pinpoint the object.
“I make sure I have all sorts of pictures and if it’s a screw I have to figure out where it went and find the brand of the screw and try different screwdrivers to get it out,” Nick said.
“It could be that the screw head is damaged or the screw is stuck to the bone and I have to chisel it out by hand instead.
“You need the right imaging and the right instruments. It can be challenging and it’s not always straightforward.’
Most of his surgeries last just 30 minutes, he noted, but he often performs finger amputations and reattachments, which he says can be “challenging” and time-consuming
While he’s often busy taking things out of people’s hands — like sewing needles and a hand going into a meat grinder — Nick also puts things in the hands of patients.
He said: “Sometimes when we take out a bone, we replace it with a patient’s own tissue, or sometimes I replace a joint with silicone.
“I also put in little pins, metal plates and silicon implants and if someone tears a tendon we put in little anchors and tie a suture around the tendon – I did one like that a few weeks ago.
“Some of the devices we’re using allow people to start using their limbs right away, so the technology has come a long way.”
The most common surgery Nick performs is carpal tunnel surgery, which involves severing part of the carpal ligament to relieve the nerves of people with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Most of his surgeries last just 30 minutes, but he often performs finger amputations and reattachments, which he says can be “challenging” and time-consuming.
He said: “I did one where I replaced someone’s thumb with their big toe.
“It took 12 hours and can be very tricky because the size doesn’t always fit.
“If you screw it up and the blood vessels aren’t working properly, it can lead to a bad outcome. Luckily it was successful.”
He added: “That was probably the biggest challenge. Taking a part of the body and moving it somewhere else.
“I also had one that was made out of a samurai sword that severed three of his fingers and it took 10 hours to put all the nerves, tendons and bones back on.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-11657449/From-sea-urchin-spines-bullets-Surgeon-reveals-weirdest-things-hes-removed-peoples-hands.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 From sea urchin spines to bullets, the surgeon reveals the strangest things he’s removed from people’s hands