The man with the largest hand in the world is looking forward to a normal life after undergoing radical plastic surgery at Shanghai No. 9 People’s Hospital.
Liu Hua, a 29-year-old Jiangsu Province native, was born with a left thumb, index and middle finger much larger than normal.
Liu is suffering from a rare disease called macrodactyly - a birth defect in which toes or fingers are abnormally large. The cause of the disease is unknown, but bone and soft tissue grow at an extraordinary rate.
Liu’s three fingers and arm grew dramatically as he grew older, and this had a serious affect on his life and his ability to work.
When Liu was hospitalized in Shanghai, 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 is the biggest hand in the world,” says Chen Zuliang, a hospital official. “Liu’s fingers stopped growing in recent years, so plastic surgery was at last possible to correct the malformation.”
Surgeons performed the operation for 7 hours to reduce the size of Liu’s fingers and thumb. Doctors threw away 5.1 pounds of meat and bone in the operation.
After the operation, Liu still has to go back to the hospital six months later for surgery to reshape his left arm and shoulder. He now has 3 fingers on his left hand, thumb, ring finger and little finger.