Born again, a normal Lakshmi
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Born again, a normal Lakshmi

Bangalore doctors take 27 hours to separate Lakshmi from her partially-formed twin, reports Vidya Krishnan. The 27 hours

india Updated: Nov 08, 2007 02:45 IST
Vidya Krishnan
Vidya Krishnan
Hindustan Times

It took doctors at Bangalore’s Sparsh Hospital 27 hours to successfully separate Lakshmi from her partially-formed twin. Doctors removed the two-year-old girl’s extra arms and legs, reconstructed her hip, removed the two extra kidneys and rewired her intestines to help her lead a normal life. The condition occurs in fewer than one in 50,000 births.

Born to poor farmers from Ahraria in Bihar, Lakshmi had four arms and four legs because she was fused at the hip to a parasitic conjoined twin. The two shared vital organs, such as the kidneys. Though Lakshmi could crawl a little, she was not able to walk or manage coordinated movements with her limbs.

Lakshmi’s mother Poonam was in a state of shock. “The shock of Lakshmi undergoing surgery was too much for Poonam. She fainted and went into shock when the girl was taken to the operation theatre at 7 am on Tuesday. We don’t want to medicate the mother because she is pregnant, but she is under observation and is fine,” says Dr Sharan Patil, the orthopaedic surgeon who led the marathon operation with 35 others. The surgery, adds Patil, was the first of its kind in India.

The doctors said the need for a revision surgery some months later may not even arise. “We were prepared to take the surgery in stages, but it seems it may not be required. Lakshmi is now stable and will be under close observation for the next 48 hours. It is difficult to predict how the child will respond to her new form,” said Patil.

It will, however, take some time before Lakshmi is able to walk. “She has never walked and will have to learn how to use the new muscles that have been created to help her walk like other children. It will require training and physiotherapy,” says Dr Patil.

First Published: Nov 07, 2007 13:18 IST