Sun, Nov 11, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Girl awakens after surgery to remove extra arms and legs


A two-year-old Indian girl separated from her conjoined twin was doing well yesterday after regaining consciousness for the first time after a grueling 27 hours of surgery.

Lakshmi, who had been born with eight limbs, was under observation at the intensive care unit of Sparsh Hospital in this southern Indian city where doctors completed the surgery on Wednesday.

"Lakshmi is in satisfactory condition and all her parameters are within normal limits," said T. Ramesh, the hospital spokesman where a team of 36 medics performed the surgery.

She regained consciousness on Friday and was in good spirits, able to open her eyes and move her fingers and toes slowly, Patil said earlier.

They plan to shift her from intensive care to a private ward in about two days and put her on a schedule of physiotherapy to strengthen her legs and teach her how to walk.

Her parents, who are from a remote district in the eastern Bihar state, were allowed to spend about 15 minutes with her on two occasions on Friday and were happy to see her conscious and recovering from the surgery, said the doctor.

The girl, born with four arms and four legs, had the extra limbs removed in the operation after having been born fused at the pelvis to a headless "parasitic twin" that stopped developing in the womb.

She had absorbed the organs and body parts of the undeveloped fetus, a condition that occurs once in 50,000 conjoined twin births, requiring the rare, risky operation.

Doctors said the girl would have been unlikely to live into her teens with her condition.

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