A SURGEON who carried out a ground-breaking operation to amputate a man's entire lower body said yesterday that the procedure could not have resulted in a feeding tube being left inside the patient's stomach.

Orthopaedic surgeon Mathew Cheng said this was not possible as the amputation was made below the patient's belly button and did not involve the stomach cavity.

He led a team to perform a hemicorporectomy on Mr Amri Mohd Samat in 2007 as the bachelor, who had been left paralysed by a car accident, had severe bedsore infections that ate away the flesh on his buttocks and thighs. The procedure at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) was a first in Singapore, and involved the removal of his legs, genitalia, bladder and pelvic bones.

Last month, doctors at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital - where Mr Amri, 44, had been admitted because of bedsores - found a 25cm tube in his stomach.
He had also complained of sharp stomach pains which he began experiencing in August, the first time he fasted for Ramadan since the hemicorporectomy.

A scan revealed the nasogastric tube, also known as a feeding tube.

The tube was removed in a 15-minute procedure that involved using a scope lowered through his mouth.

'Tube not left in belly'