Surgeons remove unexploded grenade from Ukrainian soldier's chest

The weapon did not detonate despite being active.
Loukia Papadopoulos
An X-ray of the grenade lodged in the soldier's chest.
An X-ray of the grenade lodged in the soldier's chest.

Hanna Maliar/ Facebook  

In what can only be described as a miracle, Ukrainian military surgeons conducted a successful surgery to remove an unexploded grenade from a soldier’s chest, said Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy minister of defense, in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

An image of the soldier’s X-rayed chest was uploaded by Maliar as she explained that surgeons removed the weapon from just beneath the heart of the injured soldier while two sappers remained on the watch to ensure the operation was conducted safely and the grenade did not detonate.

A tricky but successful operation

“Military doctors conducted an operation to remove a VOG grenade, which did not break, from the body of the soldier,” Maliar wrote in her post.

“The operation was carried out by one of the most experienced surgeons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - Andrew Willow without electrocoagulation, as the grenade could detonate at any time. The surgical intervention was successful and the injured serviceman was sent to further rehabilitation and recovery.”

Surgeons remove unexploded grenade from Ukrainian soldier's chest
One of the surgeons holding the grenade.

Anton Gerashchenko, Ukraine’s internal affairs ministerial adviser, further told The Guardian the team of sappers neutralized the munition in what he described as a medical procedure that would “go down in medical textbooks.”

Gerashchenko wrote in a Telegram update early on Thursday: “The unexploded part of the grenade was taken from under the heart. The grenade did not explode, but remained explosive.”

A case that will go down in medical textbooks

He further cited Yevgenia Slivko, communications adviser to the commander of the medical forces in Ukraine’s military, who noted that the patient was believed to be about 28 years old.

“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,” Gerashchenko concluded.

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The surgery is indeed very unique as a quick search on the internet will show that no other similar procedures have been undertaken. Whereas most medical advancements are due to technology updates, this case relies solely on the talent and expertise of the surgeons and sappers.

So far, no mention of special tools or technology has been made, leading us to conclude that the surgery was conducted with the same regular tools used by surgeons everywhere. It will forever remain a testament to what talented surgeons can achieve and perhaps also a medical miracle.