'Hand caught in a saw machine was my hardest case'

A microsurgeon typically performs surgery on blood vessels and nerves using extra-small surgical tools, micro-sutures and a microscope to magnify the area.

The work of reattaching even one blood vessel is delicate, time-consuming and exhausting. You need constant visual contact with the microscope during surgery, and you need to maintain correct posture to minimise the amount of hand tremor.

Hand surgeon Dr Ranjit Singh Gill's most challenging case occurred when a man got his hand caught in a circular saw machine.

The machine amputated the patient's hand through the wrist. The hand then flipped back into the machine, which severed all the fingers.

"We had to reattach the stump of the hand to the wrist, and then individually reattach all the fingers," Dr Ranjit Singh said.

The man's hand, though not fully restored, was saved - and functional.

Leadership lesson: Get things right the first time. In a hand injury, as with any human encounter, the final outcome depends on the first treatment.

"Hands don't bore me. Hands are attached to the person. When you examine the hand, you're examining how his emotions, appearance and livelihood are being affected," Dr Ranjit Singh said.