A Chinese man's severed hand was saved by grafting it to his ankle temporarily, British media report.

After Xiao Wei lost his right hand in an industrial accident, doctors from the Changsha region kept the hand alive by stitching it to his left ankle. Leg arteries were used as a blood supply.

Hand grafted on ankle

Severed body parts can be reattached elsewhere on the body, but usually to areas with a better blood supply than the ankle, BBC News reports. (BBC News)

Photo agency Rex Features reported that a month later, surgeons were able able to replant the hand back on his arm after it recovered, BBC News said.

Xiao told the agency that since he is still young, he "couldn't imagine life without a right hand." The injury occurred in  Changde in Hunan Province.

Cairian Healy, of the Royal College of Surgeons in England, told BBC News that severed body parts can be reattached elsewhere on the body, but areas with a better blood supply, such as the armpit, are generally preferred to the ankle.