Espreso. Global

Ukrainian doctors fix wounded defender's 22-cm skull defect with 3D plates

3 November, 2023 Friday
19:17

Doctors from the Lviv-based UNBROKEN Center in western Ukraine performed a 4-hour skull reconstruction surgery on a defender whose head was hit by a bullet that passed through his brain

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This was reported by the Lviv City Council.

At the UNBROKEN National Rehabilitation Center in Lviv, a team of doctors performed a complex reconstructive surgery on the serviceman and closed a 22-centimeter skull defect with 3D plates.

Before the war, Oleksiy Lytvynchuk, 48 was a children's football coach. He joined the Defense Forces in 2014. He served for a year and returned to civilian life and coaching. In February 2022, he took up arms again and joined the ranks of the Luhansk Border Guard Detachment. He served as a machine gunner.

On 4 April 2023, Oleksiy was wounded in his head at a combat post. A Russian bullet hit the defender's forehead, passed through his brain and flew out through the back of his head. For two months, intensive care doctors literally fought for the patient with death. For the first three weeks, Oleksiy was in a coma. Once the man's condition was stabilized, he was sent to Lviv for reconstructive skull surgery and further rehabilitation.

"Oleksiy was admitted to us in a serious condition with a skull and brain defect. We were faced with the task of closing the defect as soon as possible with individually made 3D plates. The operation is difficult, but, unfortunately, it is very relevant nowadays. Thousands of soldiers suffer similar injuries," says Andriy Batiuk, a neurosurgeon at the UNBROKEN Centre.

Oleksiy's skull bone defect was quite large - 22 cm. 

"We closed it with modern and expensive 3D plates, the production of which is fully covered by the state for servicemen," adds Yuriy Flys, head of the neurosurgery department at St Panteleimon's Hospital.

The operation lasted 4 hours and was successful. Due to the brain injury, Oleksiy's speech and mobility of his left limbs are impaired. Therefore, he will have to undergo long-term physical therapy. But there are already first successes. Three weeks after the complex reconstructive surgery, the defender is feeling much better. He is already speaking well and even joking. The mobility of his left arm and leg is gradually starting to recover. He can already eat, sit and walk with support.

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