An Indian boy born with four legs and two penises was successfully delivered and is about to be sent home to his family.
CNN reports that doctors at Bangalore’s Narayana Health City reported that the unnamed child was born with polymelia, a rare birth defect that results in extra limbs or organs.
"These are problems that happen from time to time and (are) irrespective of socio-economic status," said Dr. Sanjay Rao, a senior consultant pediatric surgeon at Narayana Health City.
Rao, who performed the operation, said that the boy’s parents gave him permission to discuss the case publicly.
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Clinical Imaging Science defines the rare defect:
Polymelia is a congenital anomaly, which is defined as the presence of accessory limbs attached to various body regions and could be classified as cephalomelia (extra-limb attached to the head), notomelia (extra-limb attached to the back bone), thoracomelia (extra-limb attached to the thorax), and pyromelia (extra-limb attached to the pelvis). These anomalies are usually associated with genetic factors including tamogenes, chromosomes, and environmental agents. Here, we report a rare case of pyromelia, a form of polymelia.
In India, such cases often come with a wave of superstition and parents often pray over such genetic deformities. However, the boy’s parents quickly recognized that this was something that could be treated, and transported him to a local hospital the day after he was born.
Surgery on the boy took five hours and a team of 20 doctors, nurses and technicians to complete. He is expected to need cosmetic procedures going forward, but Rao says that the child should have an ordinary life.