Ukrainian doctors have successfully removed a live grenade from the inside of a soldier, where it was lodged just under the heart. The grenade, which “could have gone off at any moment”, was handled by the surgeons under the supervision of two sappers (servicepeople involved in landmine clearance) to minimize the risk of explosion.
Anton Gerashchenko, the internal affairs ministerial adviser of Ukraine, said that the procedure would “go down in medical textbooks”, according to The Guardian.
It is currently unknown how the VOG grenade managed to find a way into such an intrusive part of the body.
The success story was posted by Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy minister of defense, in a Facebook post, along with an X-ray of the VOG inside the soldier’s chest.
“The operation was carried out by one of the most experienced surgeons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - Andrew Willow without electrocoagulation, as the grenade could detonate at any time,” Maliar wrote.
“The surgical intervention was successful and the injured serviceman was sent to further rehabilitation and recovery.”
To avoid detonation, the procedure did not use electrocoagulation, which uses electrical currents passing into an electrode to control bleeding in surgery. The intense heat generated by the electrode cauterizes the wounds as they are created by the surgeon, which is incredibly useful in emergency operations. With an unexploded ordinance inside the tissue, using such an electrode could result in detonation, further complicating the remarkable surgery.