A baby born with four arms and four legs is recovering after an operation to remove his extra limbs in Guangzhou, China.
Doctor’s referred to the conjoined limbs as a “parasitic fetus”—a conjoined twin without a head.
"They were supposed to be twins, but one had underdeveloped and became deformed," Yu Jiakang, chief surgeon at Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, explained to the Global Times.
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Weighing three kilograms before surgery, the removed limbs weighed 0.6 kilograms. The boy’s father told the Global Times that his wife had undergone five routine exams at local clinics, and that no abnormality was revealed. But he might not have been attentive enough.
“I only cared about my work. I just thought of making money instead of taking her to hospital for a medical checkup,” Chen told the paper.
The 13-day-old infant was diagnosed with pneumonia and congenital heart disease before his April 11 surgery. He is still in hospital care but is reportedly in stable condition.
Congenital heart disease is a common condition in China, especially among children. Those in rural areas with limited access to hospital care are especially affected.
"Early diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment," Dr. Sun Kun from Shanghai Xinhua Hospital told People's Daily. "In places like Shanghai, a heart scan that costs a little more than 100 yuan can detect congenital heart disease even the baby is still in the womb. However, delayed diagnosis for children in remote areas means they miss the best opportunity for treatment."