Girl separation surgery a success
Wednesday, 7 November 2007, 07:53 GMT
Separation surgery on a two-year-old Indian girl who was born with four
arms and four legs has been successful, doctors say.
Lakshmi Tatma was joined at the pelvis to what was, in effect,
a headless, undeveloped twin.
A team of surgeons in the southern city of Bangalore operated on
Lakshmi for 27 hours to separate her spinal column and kidney from
that of her twin.
It is hoped the procedure will allow her to survive beyond adolescence.
"Lakshmi is stable and sound," the doctor leading the operation,
Sharan Patil, told a news conference which was shown live on
television channels across India.
"She has withstood the operation, she is safe and doing well," he said.
Lakshmi is still on ventilation.
"We will keep a close watch on her for the next 48 to 72 hours and
won't move from the hospital until she stabilises," Dr Patil said.
More than 30 doctors "worked relentlessly through the night to make the
operation successful," he said and added that there was "no setback at
any stage of the surgery".
Dr Patil said he was "optimistic about the child's survival".
The surgery began at 0700 local time (0130 GMT) on Tuesday and ended
at 1000 local time (0430 GMT) on Wednesday.
Lakshmi's parents, poor labourers from the northern Indian state of Bihar,
would be allowed to see their daughter this afternoon.
The child has been hailed by some in her village in Bihar as the
reincarnation of the multi-limbed Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi.
Conjoined twins are rare, occurring in about one in every 200,000 births.
They originate from a single fertilised egg, so they are always identical
and of the same sex.
The overall survival rate of conjoined twins is somewhere between
5% and 25%.
Historical records over the past 500 years detail about 600 surviving sets
of conjoined twins - more than 70% of which have been female twins. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7082305.stm