Monday, July 25, 2011

Indian Toddler Has 34 Fingers and Toes


Fifteen-month-old Akshat Saxena has 14 fingers and 20 toes, which are a result of a congenital defect so rare that there is no name for it in medical literature.

"Seventeen years ago, I operated upon a girl who had seven fingers in one hand, which is called a mirror hand condition. Thirty-four fingers and toes hasn't been reported anywhere," said Dr PP Kotwal, head of orthopaedics department, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), who will do the corrective surgery in phases.

Akshat's father Manoj Saxena, who lives in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, said he was astounded when his wife delivered a baby with 34 fingers on March 27 last year, just a couple of days after he read about a similar case in China of a girl born with 21 fingers in both hands.

A team of four doctors from the department of orthopaedics will conduct the surgery, which would include removing extra fingers and creating thumbs. "We have to ensure all the fingers get individual blood supply, otherwise we will have to use vein grafts. The boy doesn't have a thumb, so we would need two of his fingers to create two thumbs," said Dr Kotwal.

Saxena has been coming to AIIMS since Akshat was four months old, but doctors had to wait for him to turn a year old to perform a corrective surgery. The boy is undergoing various tests and doctors plan to operate upon him next week.

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