Webbed hand

So, has anyone ever thought about doing that?
I've seen one guy do it with no success (he had no medical knowledge so he just transplanted his ass skin inbetween 2 fingers without any blood flow or nerves conected to it, so the skin died after a while) - http://i.imgur.com/3oIFd3p.jpg - his image (posted on FB). Do you think it would be possible to do this without these results? 


  • Hm. Well, you'd need to do a full skin graft (epidermis, dermis, hypodermis) from your own body. Grafts from animals or cadavers are temporary. Did the previous guy make any sort of incision into his hand before sewing on the skin? You'd need to remove the skin from the hand in order to have some interior surface area to attach to... but even then it would be hard to have consistent contact between the graft and the hand, and it may grow wrong, might not have enough space to grow into, or it can just plain not work.

    I feel like there might be some stretching method that could work in stages, like those neck rings people use in Africa to extend their necks. Or those penis lengtheners that rely on weight and gravity (which may or may not be real, saw it in a movie).
  • What would be the benefit over just using a good swimming glove like these? Webbed fingers could be a bit of a liability during non-swimming activities, and tearing could be pretty unpleasant. Might be something better left to a cheap, removable/replaceable glove.

  • I honestly wasn't even considering getting them, I was just using it as a thought experiment, like HOW would we do it, ya know?
  • edited March 2015
    2 things I can think of that are not related to water sports:

    1) Instrument - some people can blow on their hand in sort of "whistle" that sounds like owl, and bigger the hands, lower the pitch

    2) carrying liquids - imagine how much liquid could you carry with these

    Also you would be the king of snowball fights
    The thing is, we are just speculating if this would be possible, not about usability. By that logic why implant rfid if you can get ring with one? http://www.nfcring.com/

  • The easy answer there would be that I can't lose an implant as easily as a piece of jewelry, and it doesn't add any new injury risks or impede normal function like webbed hands would. I'm not trying to be a nay-sayer, I like webbed hands too, but I don't think having them "always on" would turn out so great.
  • That is considered a genetic disorder; if it is considered bad enough to be surgically fixed through numerous surgeries, it must have some bad part to it.
  • Your talking about syndactyly? Ok, so the reason it's surgically corrected is because it doesn't really look or function like what's being discussed here. We are really discussing a web, a flap between fingers which adds functionality. Even with incomplete syndactyly the "web" is tighter/smaller than we are discussing here making a spreading motion of the fingers incomplete. Total syndactyly often looks like all the fingers are glued together. It's not really the same as adding a flap of skin between the fingers.

    When I was researching all the magnet implant stuff, I read a number of texts on hand surgery/plastic surgery. There are some very cool skin flap techniques and such that could be performed to get this effect. I would probably try some kind of flap thing before I'd do a graft.

    Take a look at page 29 of this slideshare at the axial flag flap.

    The donor tissue from the other finger retains vasculature etc. After healing, the connection between the fingers is paired away. So basically, one would do a similar flag flap but at the proximal phalanx and rather than pulling it to the other site... just folding over the flag flag and suturing the edges into a web shape.
  • Just because I'm saying I think this can be done though doesn't mean I'd really want to try it on someone.
  • Ha, you get into the meat and suddenly no ones interested.
  • I'm lurking. I don't have anything to contribute and I don't think anybody here is willing to step up for testing... so it's pretty much dead in the water unless somebody finds a reason the flag flap process isn't sufficient.
  • Very interested, just swamped with school. After my anatomy exam tomorrow i'll have time to dig into this.
  • Have one under your arms, and you may have a glider
  • Ok so I had a quick look at the flaps you posted @cassox. Most are only really useful if you amputate but the one you pointed out looks as though it could be useful. Even then, the amount of skin you'd need is incredible. At least for this to be comfortable and useful. And you could probably only do one set of webbing at a time since you'd need to regrow a lot. I think what would work better is if you were to stretch the skin on the back of the hand, then use it as the flap so you get a bigger flap to use, keep the vasculature and then can close up the top of the hand again. In theory you could repeat this for each. But this method is time consuming and has massive risk and healing times. What would be ideal is if you could grow a section of skin that could be transplanted on and do the whole hand at once. Isolate stem cell and grow them into a sheet of skin.
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