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07 November 2007

8-limb girl stable after op

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.

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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 of Bangalore.

"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)

Read more:
8-limb girl faces epic op
HIV/Aids Centre

 
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