There are few things in this world more tensely serious than surgery and war, with the latter often begetting the former in awfully touchy ways.
These are matters of life and death, where the simplest or silliest mistake can lead to personal or public tragedy in an instant.
This week, a remarkable story emerged from the invasion of Ukraine that spans both the battlefield and the operating room, and almost defies belief.
Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Defence, shared the story to her Facebook page on Monday, showing the surgeon and the x-ray.
“This is a shock, nice one. Not every wound in the heart area is deadly,” she said in her post, according to a Google translation.
“Military doctors conducted an operation to remove a VOG grenade, which did not break, from the body of the soldiers.
The procedure was intense.
“[The grenade] was removed in the presence of two sappers who were ensuring the safety of medical staff.
“The operation was carried out by one of the most experienced surgeons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Andrew Willow.
“[It was done] without electrocoagulation, as the grenade could detonate at any time.
“The surgical intervention was successful and the injured service man was sent to further rehabilitation and recovery.”
As of this writing, it is unclear exactly how the grenade came to be lodged within the soldier.