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Friday, April 20, 2012

One-in-a-million baby who was born with SIX legs

- Baby was one half of a conjoined twin who did not completely develop in the womb

- Eight-hour operation to remove extra limbs hailed a success

A baby boy born with six legs has had a successful operation to remove his four extra limbs, doctors said today.

The youngster from Karachi in Pakistan was believed to have had a parasitic twin, which had not developed properly in the womb, resulting in the extra legs.

A team of five doctors had fought to save the boy's life at the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi.

The head of the NICH, Jamal Raza, said the abnormal birth was the result of a genetic disease which would affect only one in a million or more babies.

'It was strange that apparently an abnormal baby with six legs was as normal as other children,' he said.

Before surgeons could operate they said they had to work out which of the limbs belonged to the boy and which to his twin.

Doctors examined MRI, blood tests and CT scan reports before deciding to perform the surgery. The operation lasted eight-hours and was performed in stages.

The baby had been in an intensive care unit ward since he was born last week to the wife of an X-ray technician.

Imran Shaikh, the baby's father who lives in Sukkur, said he was grateful his son was treated.

'We are a poor family. I am thankful to the government and doctors for helping us successful operating my baby,' he said.

Shaikh and his wife of four years live in Sukkur, around 280 miles north of where his son is being cared for. His wife is reported to be recovering well from the birth and in a good state of health.

His wife - who is also his cousin - has been unable to travel because she had a caesarean section delivery.

He said they were planning on naming their son Umar Farooq.

The Sindh provincial health department said they were examining if he needed any further treatment to live a normal life.


A parasitic twin is sometimes referred to as an asymmetrical or unequal conjoined twin.

It occurs when a twin embryo begins developing in utero, but the pair does not fully separate.

One embryo continues developing at the expense of the other (the parasitic) which will rely on the body of the other for blood supply and organ function.

It is incompletely developed and dependent on the other twin. The independent twin is called the autosite.

In some cases the body of one twin absorbs the other during development, known as fetus in fetu.

In January a boy in Peru was operated on to remove his parasitic twin from his stomach.


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