Doctors at Pakistan's National Institue of Child Health say that a six-legged infant born earlier this month is alive and recovering well, after surgeons removed the baby's extra limbs in an eight-hour surgery last Thursday.
It's almost hard to believe that the child, who appears otherwise normal in the post-surgery photograph featured up top, was actually born with polymelia — a rare birth defect that Jamal Raza, head of the NICH, said affects fewer than one in a million babies.
Raza speculates the baby (whose parents have named him Umar) initially developed as conjoined twins, but that the second twin degenerated in the womb, leaving the extra limbs attached to its sibling. But what's interesting is that for as rare as polymelia is, the development of four extra limbs (as opposed to one, or even two) is especially uncommon.
One can't help but wonder if two of Umar's extra "legs" weren't, in fact, underdeveloped arms — a deformity that is known to occur in a class of conjoined twins known as Ischiopagus Tetrapus. In any case, we wish the baby and his parents a speedy and smooth recovery. [The Huffington Post]