A 38-year-old man from Bikaner, Rajasthan, has received a new face after a series of reconstructive surgeries as a result of an animal attack. A raging bull had left him with a mangled face in September 2020. Karnee Bishnoi, who works as the Operating Head of an FMCG company in the city, was in his vehicle at the time of the attack.
According to Dr Sunil Choudhary, Principal Director & Chief of Plastic Surgery (Max Institute of Reconstructive, Aesthetic, Cleft & Craniofacial Surgery (Miracles), Aesthetic And Reconstructive Surgery of Max Hospital, Saket, the hospital that treated him, Mr Bishnoi was driving the car with his side window rolled down and slowed down his vehicle to allow the bulls on the road to pass by. At this point, one of the bulls came charging at Mr Bishnoi, attacking his face with its horns.
In the attack, Mr Bishnoi lost his right eye, in addition to having the right side of his face, including his nose, lips, and scalp, torn to tatters. "He was pulled out of the car and thrown onto the road but the bull left him alive," the note said. His friend, who was travelling with him, was not as badly injured and managed to take Mr Bishnoi to a hospital along with the victim's sister.
However, the extent of injuries was such that the local hospital in Bikaner was unsure as to what to do, the press note said. "They managed to stem the bleed with packing and some big sutures but expressed their helplessness to go any further as they lacked the expertise."
Upon being transferred to the hospital in Saket, surgeons were shocked to see that Mr Bishnoi had managed to stay alive despite the grave injuries. On finding that his "ventilation tube to be blocked with some material which was found to be his pulverised brain," the neurosurgeons and plastic surgery team were called in. COVID-19 protocol meant that the surgeons had to put on full PPEs for 10 hours while "painstakingly putting together bone, flesh, nose pieces". After another surgery that lasted nine hours, the team "not only managed to save his life but also restored the face to a human form." Following this, Mr Bishnoi made what was described to be an "uneventful recovery" and resumed his work.
Four months later, he underwent second-stage reconstruction surgery. At this time, the right side of his face was "completely paralysed with loss of smiling, inability to lift right side eyebrow and forehead and a saddled depressed nose." For the first time in India, "some ingenious constructive surgery techniques" such as "forehead muscle to muscle neurotisation" were performed.
By July, Mr Bishnoi was able to move his right eyebrow and forehead and was "getting better every day." In addition to this, his facial shape and symmetry are also good, the hospital added.
Mr Bishnoi will be undergoing more procedures in the next few months for artificial eye and scar revisions.