A baby born with eight limbs, including two protruding from his stomach, has undergone surgery in India to successfully remove the extra arms and legs, in an operation being hailed as a world first.
Seven-month-old Karam was born in Iraq with an extremely rare condition where a conjoined twin did not fully form and was partially absorbed, resulting in the additional limbs.
The boy’s father Sarwed Ahmed Nadar flew the infant to India for surgery, where doctors performed a three-stage operation to remove the unnecessary limbs.
There are just five or six known cases worldwide of this condition, making the task more difficult for the doctors, said senior orthopaedic consultant Gaurav Rathore, who was part of the surgical team.
“He was brought to us when he was just two weeks old and his condition was quite unique. Most of the surgeries we performed had not been attempted before,” Rathore told reporters in Noida, a satellite city outside New Delhi.
“Till now our journey has been quite successful. Karam is a very courageous young baby. He is in fact a very happy child.”
The team of doctors at Jaypee Hospital conducted the surgery in three stages, first removing the limbs sticking out from his stomach before correcting a cardiac complication.
The final procedure saw doctors remove all the extra limbs, though he will require more procedures as he grows older to correct other anomalies.
A hub of medical tourism, India attracts thousands of patients from all over the world, owing to low costs and high quality of medical care.
Karam’s father Nadar, who was initially horrified when his son was born, said his only hope was that his son now grows up normal and healthy.
“He is my only child and the first-born is always special,” said Nadar, 28.
“There were a lot of risks but I never lost hope.”