November 8, 2007 in Nation/World

‘Parasitic twin’ operation successful

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 

BANGALORE, India – Doctors in southern India completed a grueling 24-hour operation Wednesday on a girl born with four arms and four legs that surgeons said will give the 2-year-old a chance at a normal life.

The surgery went “wonderfully well,” said Dr. Sharan Patil, who led a team of more than 30 surgeons in the marathon procedure to remove Lakshmi’s extra limbs, salvage her organs and rebuild her pelvis area.

But he cautioned that Lakshmi was still not out of danger.

“We are still not ready to celebrate as she will be in the critical zone for the next 48 to 72 hours,” the doctor said.

Lakshmi, who has been revered by some in her village as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess she was named for, was born joined at the pelvis to a “parasitic twin” that stopped developing in her mother’s womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped fetus.

The operation included transplanting a good kidney into Lakshmi from the twin. The team also used tissue from the twin to help rebuild the pelvic area, one of the most complicated parts of the surgery, Patil said.


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