BANGALORE, India - Doctors began operating Tuesday on a 2-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs in an extensive surgery that they hope will leave the girl with a normal body, a hospital official said.
The girl is joined to a "parasitic twin" that stopped developing in the mother's womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped fetus.
The girl, Lakshmi, is named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth, and some in her village in the northern state of
"Everybody considers her a goddess at our village," said her father, Shambhu, who goes by one name. "All this expenditure has happened to make her normal. So far, everything is fine."
Others sought to make money from Lakshmi. Her parents kept her in hiding after a circus apparently tried to buy the girl, they said.
The complications for Lakshmi's surgery are myriad: The two spines are merged, she has four kidneys, entangled nerves, two stomach cavities and two chest cavities. She cannot stand up or walk.
"It's a big team effort of a lot of skilled surgeons who will be putting their heart and soul into solving the problem of Laxmi," said Dr. Sharan Patil, the lead surgeon in the operation. "It's going to take many, many hours on a continuous basis to operate on the baby. So, these issues definitely make it complex."
Patil put the risk of losing Lakshmi between 20 and 25 percent.
"She's a very cute girl," Dr. Patil Mamatha said. "She's very playful and gets along well with others."
The hospital's foundation is paying for the operation because the girl's family could not afford the medical bills, Mamatha said. A team of 30 doctors was participating in the surgery.
Girl with 8 limbs has successful surgery
This pictures shows two-year-old Lakshmi with her parents and her brother Poonam.
She was born with eight limbs and doctors have been carrying out a 40-hour operation to save her life.
Surgeons at the
She is joined to a "parasitic twin" who stopped developing in her mother's womb, while the surviving foetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped foetus.
it has also emerged that Lakshmi's parents had to keep her in hiding after a circus allegedly tried to buy her.
Lakshmi is named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth, and some people in her poor village in the northern state of
The operation is made more complicated because the two spines are merged, the girl has four kidneys, entangled nerves, two stomach cavities and two chest cavities.
But a hospital spokesman said: "We have high hopes of everything going fine and everything is going fine now."
The rare condition is called Ischiopagus.
Indian girl has extra limbs removed - CNN.com
This X-ray provided by the Sparsh Hospital (AP Photo/Sparsh Hospital)
This undated computed axial tomography (CT scan) (AP Photo/Sparsh Hospital)
In this undated computed axial tomography (CT scan)(AP Photo/Sparsh Hospital, HO)
Chief orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sharan Patil
Chief orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sharan Patil, right, (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A)
Members of the doctors' team after the completion of 24-hour operation shows 2-year-old Lakshmi after her surgery was completed, in Bangalore, India, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007. Doctors in southern