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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Eight-limbed girl getting operated upon

The normal human body has 2 hands and 2 legs. Any more, and people see a person as a freak. However, once in a while, the development of fetuses inside the human womb can lead to strange conditions. In the case outlined below, a girl was born with 4 hands and 4 legs. She actually had a twin conjoined with her inside her mother's womb, but the development of the twin stopped, so there were limbs and torso that was developed, but the head for the twin was not there. Doctors believe that unless these excess limbs are removed, the girl will not survive into adulthood, and are hence doing a marathon 40 hour operation to separate them.

Surgeons in India said a mammoth 40-hour operation on a 2-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs was going according to plan. Patil told reporters the team of 30 surgeons had begun the process of severing Lakshmi from her conjoined twin, which stopped developing in the mother's womb and has a torso and limbs but no head.
He said the spinal cord had been successfully separated and that body tissues vital for the girl's survival had been isolated and retained.
When Lakshmi was born into a poor, rural Indian family, villagers in the remote settlement of Rampur Kodar Katti in the northern state of Bihar believed she was sacred. As news of her birth spread, locals lined up for a blessing from the baby.

This is an mammoth undertaking, given that the life of the girl is at stake. 40 hours means that the operation needs to have multiple doctors, and with multiple teams for each shift so as to make sure that her condition does not suddenly sink.

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