A man whose heart and lung were pierced by an arrow has miraculously survived after doctors were able to remove the weapon during a complicated and risky operation.
Molinette Hospital in Turin released a shocking photo which shows the 12-inch arrow embedded in the man's chest near his left nipple as he lay on a bed surrounded by medics wearing plastic gloves.
The image, taken shortly after the man arrived at hospital, shows the shirtless and tattooed 47-year-old with a mask and breathing bag before he was rushed into surgery.
Medics were shocked that the man - who was awake the entire time - didn't suffer "immediate death" when the arrow pierced his left ventricle and lung in a crossbow accident in Aosta, Italy.
A spokesperson for Molinette Hospital in Turin said: "Incredibly, in addition to the thoracic wall, the arrow pierced the left ventricle - the most important of the heart chambers - with an entry and an exit point, and then embedded in the left lung without causing immediate death."
The hospital said the man was saved by an "exceptional" operation in its heart surgery unit on Tuesday.
"Removing the arrow from its location could have resulted in uncontrollable bleeding," the spokesperson said.
A second photo released by the hospital shows the end of the arrow sticking out of the man's chest in the operating room.
Doctors carefully removed the arrow and avoided massive bleeding.
They then stitched up the cardiopulmonary perforations in one of very few operations of its kind in Italy.
The surgical team, led by Dr Mauro Rinaldi, hailed it as a "complete success".
In a statement, Molinette Hospital described the surgery as "unprecedented" at the facility and a case of "exceptional rarity".
The exact circumstances of the man's injury were not revealed.