A gruelling, 24-hour-long operation to remove the extra limbs of an
Indian girl born with four arms and four legs was a spectacular
success, leaving her in a stable condition, doctors announced Wednesday.
A team of more than 30 physicians successfully removed the
two-year-old's extra limbs, salvaged her organs, and rebuilt her pelvic
area, Dr Sharan Patil said from a hospital in the southern Indian city
"Beyond our expectations, the reconstruction worked wonderfully
well," said Patil, the lead orthopaedic surgeon during the operation.
The girl, named Lakshmi, is revered by some in her village as the
reincarnation of a Hindu goddess.
Joined to parasitic twin
Lakshmi was born joined to a "parasitic twin" that stopped
developing in her mother's womb. The surviving foetus absorbed the
limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped foetus.
The complications for Lakshmi's surgery were myriad: She was born
with four kidneys, entangled nerves, two stomach cavities and two chest
cavities. She cannot stand up or walk.
The surgery also included separating the fused spines, Patil said.
"Every step was successful. There was no setback whatsoever."
Patil said Lakshmi's family was "overwhelmed," and they expected to
see her Wednesday afternoon. She will stay in the hospital for
observation for several days.
Doctors anticipated an especially difficult challenge would be
rebuilding Lakshmi's pelvis, but that went smoothly also. "We were able
to bring the pelvic bones together successfully, which takes away the
need for another procedure," Patil said. - (Gavin Rabinowitz/Sapa/AP)
8-limb girl faces epic op