A Swedish woman who had part of her face bitten off by a dog has undergone a surgical procedure which involved hundreds of leeches.
Doctors desperately tried to reattach a torn off piece of flesh, which neighbours had managed to recover and keep on ice, in an operation which lasted for 15 hours.
According to reports, it was the woman’s own mixed breed animal which unexpectedly attacked her, chewing off flesh from her top lip to her eye. Specialist Stina Klasson explained that it was important to make sure that blood was flowing into the torn off flesh which surgeons managed to do within the first hour of the procedure.
Leeches were employed because of their blood sucking ability and because they also help to thin the blood. Klasson said that when the usual supplier of the creatures ran out, more had to be transported from Britain. In all, 358 of the blood suckers were used.
The woman was admitted to hospital in August and doctors say that she is now doing well. They managed to save the whole of her nose and said that the results are encouraging. However, it is likely that she will require more re-constructive surgery in the future.
According to specialist Jens Larson, who was also involved in the operation, the woman is able to breathe properly as well as talk and eat. It is thought that the procedure was the first of its kind ever to have been performed in the region. The dog has been destroyed.