A live grenade has been removed from the chest of a Ukrainian soldier in an operation officials said would ‘go down in medical textbooks’.
Surgeons found the bomb lodged only centimetres below the man’s heart, Ukrainian deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said on Monday.
Two combat engineers oversaw the operation to take out the VOG grenade, designed to be fired from launchers with a lethal radius of nearly 20 feet.
Maliar said in a Facebook post: ‘This is a shock. Not every wound in the heart is deadly!
‘Military doctors conducted an operation to remove a VOG grenade, which did not break, from the body of the soldier.’
She added that the operation was carried out by one of the country’s most experienced surgeons serving in the Armed Forces, Major General Andrii Verba.
Verba wasn’t able to use electrocoagulation -the go-to way surgeons control bleeding using electricity – as the ‘ammunition could detonate at any time’.
Maliar did not say when the operation took place, but the post was uploaded on Monday. The serviceman is currently in recovery, she added.
Ukraine’s internal affairs ministerial adviser Anton Gerashchenko said on Telegram today that the troop was 28.
‘The unexploded part of the grenade was taken from under the heart. The grenade did not explode but remained explosive,’ Gerashchenko said.
‘There have never been such operations in the practice of our doctors. Similar was during the war in Afghanistan.
‘About the current patient, I can say that he was born in 1994, now he is sent for rehabilitation, his condition is stable. I think this case will go down in medical textbooks.’
In November, a Russian soldier became a ‘ticking bomb’ when an unexploded grenade smashed through his ribs and became wedged next to his heart.
Junior Sergeant Nikolay Pasenko, 41, initially refused surgery, fearful that the grenade could go off at any moment.
‘I was against it. I did not want the doctors to suffer as the munitions could have exploded,’ he said.
Head military surgeon Lt-Colonel Dmitry Kim replied: ‘So we’ll blow up together.’
Against all odds, armour-clad medics managed to remove the grenade.
‘It’s not every day that you take an [explosive] out of a person,’ Lt-Col Kim said.
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