The man with the largest hand in the world will be looking forward to a normal life after undergoing radical plastic surgery at Shanghai No. 9 People's Hospital.
Liu Hua, a 24-year-old Jiangsu Province native, was born with a left thumb, index and middle finger much larger than normal.
Liu Hua shows his abnormal hand.
The cause of the birth defect is unknown apart from the fact that his bone and soft tissue grows at an extraordinary rate.
Liu's three fingers and arm grew dramatically big as he grew older and this had a serious affect on his life and his ability to work.
When Liu was hospitalized in Shanghai last month, his left thumb measured 26 centimeters, his index finger was 30cm and his middle finger 15cm. The overall weight of his left arm was about 10 kilograms.
"It was the biggest hand in the world," said Chen Zuliang, a hospital official. "Liu's fingers stopped growing in recent years so plastic surgery was at last possible to correct the malformation."
On July 20 surgeons began a seven-hour operation to reduce the size of Liu's fingers and thumb. Doctors removed 5.1kg of flesh and bone in the procedure.
"This was the first stage. The patient will regain the use of most of his left hand after rehabilitation," Chen said. "A second operation is scheduled in six months to reshape his left arm and shoulder."
(Shanghai Daily August 22, 2007)