A woman whose scalp was torn off from the eyelids to the nape of her neck, exposing the skull, had her scalp sewn back on in a 14-hour operation. "She is going to be just fine," the lead surgeon said.
A team of five surgeons worked with high-powered microscopes to replace the woman's entire scalp, small blood vessels and other tissues torn from her head last week in a vineyard accident in Napa Valley."She was an attractive woman before . . . she will be an attractive woman when it's over," said Dr. Alfonso Oliva, who conducted the surgery at Ralph K. Davies Medical Center.
The 33-year-old vineyard manager, whose family asked that her name not be released, was working in the field at Domaine Chandon on June 4 when her hair caught in the rotor of a sprayer crankshaft, the hospital said Tuesday.
Though horrified, the woman's co-workers had enough presence to preserve the scalp. The woman was sped by ambulance to a nearby hospital in Napa and then 50 miles to San Francisco, where the operation was done within 12 hours of the accident.
Oliva said his team reconnected two of the major arteries to the scalp. Three veins in the exposed skull were rejoined using vein grafts from the woman's feet, and eight blood vessels, some "as small as the width of lead in a mechanical pencil," were rejoined.
Oliva said despite the severity of the accident, the woman will recover with little outward sign of the ordeal.