ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday December 16, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 29

Indian girl born with eight limbs to head home

BANGALORE, India, Saturday (AFP) -A two-year-old Indian girl born with four arms and four legs was due to leave hospital today, more than a month after an operation to remove her extra limbs, a doctor said. Lakshmi will return home after recovering well enough from last month's marathon operation to separate her from a headless, conjoined twin, said surgeon Sharan Patil.

Indian girl Lakshmi, 2, who was born with eight limbs is cradled in the arms of her Shambhu Father (not seen in the pic) at the Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore

Lakshmi is due to be discharged later Saturday, said Patil, who led the team of doctors that performed the 27-hour operation.“She is going home and she is good enough to be going home,” Patil told AFP in southern Bangalore city, adding that her wounds have healed.

“Lakshmi is normal,” eating well and in good spirits, he said. “She has responded well to the post-operation treatment.””(But) There are a lot more things that need to happen to her,” the doctor added, declining to give details about her post-operative care.

Lakshmi, named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth, was born fused to the pelvis of a twin that had stopped developing in the mother's womb. In the rare and risky operation, the first of its kind to be performed in India, surgeons separated her from the organs and body parts of the other foetus, a condition that occurs once in 50,000 conjoined twin births.

Doctors held a press conference shortly after the surgery at which Lakshmi, looking tired, was bundled in a blanket and cradled in her father's arms. Lakshmi's parents, labourers from a remote area of poverty-stricken Bihar state, brought her to southern India after a New Delhi hospital rejected an operation. The surgery, which cost 2.4 million rupees (60,000 dollars), was performed free at the private Sparsh hospital in Bangalore.

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