Surgery performed on a Ukrainian soldier will "go down in medical textbooks" because an unexploded grenade was removed from underneath his heart by brave docs.

The man, believed to have been born in 1994, is in a stable condition and has been sent for further rehabilitation after the successful surgery following a bloody battle in Bakhmut, Donbas, Ukraine.

Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy minister of defence, wrote on Facebook saying that two sappers – combat engineers – neutralised the explosive while surgeons got to work.

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One of the doctors involved in the procedure was pictured holding the gold fist-sized explosive after the surgery.

“Military doctors conducted an operation to remove a VOG grenade, which did not break, from the body of the soldier,” Maliar wrote alongside an image that appears to be an X-ray of the soldiers torso, pre op.

Maliar added that the atmosphere was tense as "the grenade could detonate at any moment”.

Anton Gerashchenko, Ukraine’s internal affairs ministerial adviser, said the tricky procedure would “go down in medical textbooks”.

“The unexploded part of the grenade was taken from under the heart. The grenade did not explode, but remained explosive," he said on Telegram on Thursday morning.

“There have never been such operations in the practice of our doctors. Similar was during the war in Afghanistan. About the current patient, I can say that he was born in 1994, now he is sent for rehabilitation, his condition is stable. I think this case will go down in medical textbooks.”

Maliar added that the operation "was carried out by one of the most experienced surgeons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine".

Medical surgeon Major-General Andriy Verba, one of Ukraine’s “most experienced surgeons,” performed the surgery according to regional governor Serhii Borzov.

It is unclear how the munition got inside the man, but a VOG is an explosive round designed to be fired from a grenade launcher.

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