Surgeons saved a man's hand after he chopped half his palm off with a circular saw - by sewing it into his groin.

Anthony Lelliott cut through his palm, severing his thumb and first two fingers, during a horror accident with a revolving saw while trimming flooring.

The 46-year-old from Walton, said he felt an out-of-body experience when the hand was almost completely severed at the base of his palm and again just below his fingers.

He lost a lot of blood and doesn't remember much about his accident, which happened in May.

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Anthony said: "I threw myself off the saw.

"I don't know whether it was my brain playing tricks on me, but it was like an out-of-body experience; I could see myself and see what I'd done.

"There was blood spurting out everywhere."

He was rushed to St George's Hospital where he was received by a team of doctors.

He said: "All I remember was coming through the doors into A&E and being greeted by a phenomenal amount of people; I couldn't count them."

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There plastic surgeons managed to save his hand after seventeen hours of surgery.

The gruelling process required implanting veins taken from his foot and forearm and sewing his hand to his groin to replace missing skin.

They created a flap of skin near the hip and grafting on the hand so the flap can take hold.

Anthony's hand had to remain sewn to his front for two weeks.

Consultant plastic surgeon, Roger Adlard, was on call when Anthony arrived at the major trauma centre and performed the first 13 hour operation.

Mr Adlard said: "When we took him to theatre I realised it was much worse than I'd first thought.

"It had it been cut off almost completely in two places - at the base of his palm and again just below the fingers - resulting in a double-level amputation.

"Time was also against us; his detached fingers were getting warm and left too long without blood they would rapidly decompose and be impossible to re-attach.

"I'd say it's probably the most complex amputation I've had to deal with.

"There are many surgeons who, once they'd seen that level of injury, would think it was unsalvageable."

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Mr Adlard and his colleague Farida Ali worked through the night to save Anthony's hand, finishing at 9am the next morning.

Mr Adlard continued: "After fixing the broken bones we harvested nerve and vein grafts.

"This involved taking veins from his foot and nerves from his forearm and using them to bridge the gaps between the structures in his hand.

"Following the operation, we noticed some of the skin on his palm wasn't surviving and what's more, his middle finger had insufficient bone stability or feeling to it, so we made the decision that to save the rest of his hand.

"We'd sacrifice his middle finger and effectively fillet it to help reconstruct the skin and bone which was missing from his palm.

"This was performed by my colleague, Miss Sonja Cerovac.

"The next problem was there wasn't enough skin to cover the exposed delicate microvascular repairs in his palm, so we decided to attach his hand to his groin to borrow skin from there.

"This procedure is called a pedicled groin flap and was performed by another hand surgeon, Jamil Moledina.

"Mr Moledina cut a section of skin in Anthony's groin and lifted it like a flap to cover the missing skin from his hand. It was sewn in place and left there for two weeks.

"Eventually the skin from his groin grew new roots to where it had been transferred to his hand and we were able to cut his hand free."

Incredibly, Anthony has already regained some movement in his hand and has regular sessions the hospital's hand therapy team.

He said: "The care I've received has been fantastic and I've got so much gratitude for everyone; from the paramedics who were first on the scene to the staff working in the intensive care unit and on Vernon Ward at St George's.

"Words cannot describe it because I was expecting to wake up without a hand.

"It's just trying to get it to work now. It's unbelievable really, I'm so grateful."