A team of doctors here has successfully operated upon a seven-month-old baby from Iraq who was suffering from polymelia – a birth defect involving limbs – to give him a new lease of life. Polymelia is a birth defect in which the affected individual has more than the usual number of limbs and, in this case, the boy, named Karam who was brought to the hospital in a very critical condition, had eight limbs.
“Both the legs of the baby which were protruding out of the stomach were connected through his sternum (the breastbone) and there was no abdominal wall defect. His blood veins were also adjoined to his liver veins,” Ashish Rai, Senior Consultant, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Jaypee Hospital, told reporters here. With the help of complex microscopic technique, these veins were separated and then his legs protruding out of his stomach were removed from his body. When Karam was brought to the hospital he was just two-weeks-old. His limbs and the intestines were distorted along with situs inversus of the intestine with an extremely rare condition where a conjoined twin did not fully form and was partially absorbed. The team of doctors observed the baby and considering the risk factors, decided to perform the critical surgery in three stages. In the first stage, Karam’s clubfeet was treated and the two limbs which were protruding out of his stomach were removed. In the second stage, the doctors performed “PA Band” surgery so that his left ventricle can control his entire body’s blood circulation after the treatment and he can undergo a ‘Double Switch Surgery’ in future. In the third stage of the surgery, the other two limbs were also removed from his body.
“The level of the surgery was complicated as it took almost eight hours but we did not face any major issues. We had planned the surgery thoroughly. We had done all the investigation earlier regarding the case,” Gaurav Rathore, Senior Consultant, Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement Department, Jaypee Hospital, said. “There are just five or six known cases worldwide of this condition,” Rathore added.