Surgeon's reattached Warwick woman's lip after dog bite
By: Melissa Randall
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE–TV)— Since the day Amy Dorsen rescued Lucy they've been thick as thieves. But recently the Warwick native says she got a little too close to the jack Russell–pointer mix's face while playing.
"It got to a point where she was showing me warning signs and then showed me her teeth and I went in to play with her a little more and she just snapped at me," explained Dorsen.
Lucy ripped the 22–year–old's top lip right off. Dorsen was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital where a team of plastic surgeons came up with a plan to reattach it. Before that could happen, she wanted to see what doctors were working with.
"I went in and took the ice pack off and said. Okay. This is it. My teeth were showing. It was just bloody black," said Dorsen.
Dr. Paul Liu knew how important it was to save the lip, but also that it wouldn't be easy. The vessels he'd need to fix in order to keep the blood flowing were among the smallest he'd ever worked with.
"Really tricky," said Dr. Liu, Chief of Plastic Surgery at RIH. "It stretched the boundaries of the technology in terms of the microscopes that we have. We were zoomed in fully and it still was a very tiny opening."
Dorsen just graduated college and is looking forward to a career and possibly grad school. The injury could have been devastating, but After 10 days of an intensive process called chemical leaching, where doctors pricked her lip every hour to keep the blood flowing, the surgery was deemed a success. Dorsen was allowed to continue her recovery at home.
"I just couldn't be more thankful in just the outcome is incredible. [It's] Absolutely incredible and I feel great," said Dorsen as she smiled Thursday morning, six weeks after the incident.
"It was nice to see her this morning smiling... because it means the muscles are hooked up and everything is working to plan," said Dr. Liu.
As for her relationship with the dog, Dorsen says she's learned her lesson and the two have made up.
"Lucy and I are good. She's a little timid. I defiantly think she knows what happened but she's fine and I just keep my face away from hers, obviously."