An Iraqi baby born with eight limbs has undergone surgery to remove his extra arms and legs.
Karam, seven months, was plagued by an extremely rare condition where a conjoined twin did not fully form.
Instead of growing a separate body, the other undeveloped baby’s limbs absorbed into his as a result of polymelia.
But his father flew him to India for the complex operation, hailed as a world first, to remove the unnecessary limbs.
Surgeons at Jaypee Hospital, Delhi, performed a three-stage operation to remove his protruding extra arms and legs.
The rare disorder occurs in the womb when the cells form abnormally during embryonic development.
The embryo begins to develop as conjoined twins. But one twin stops growing, leaving the remaining developments – often limbs – of the undeveloped twin attached to the body of the live baby.
There are just a handful of known cases worldwide of this condition, which made the task more difficult for the doctors.
Senior orthopaedic consultant Dr Gaurav Rathore, who was involved in the surgery, said: ‘He was brought to us when he was just two weeks old and his condition was quite unique.
‘Most of the surgeries we performed had not been attempted before.
‘Till now our journey has been quite successful. Karam is a very courageous young baby. He is in fact a very happy child.’
The first part of the surgery involved removing the limbs sticking out from his stomach, Dr Rathore told local reporters.
Surgeons then corrected a cardiac problem that occurred as a result of his rare condition.
The final procedure saw doctors remove all the extra limbs, though he will require more procedures as he grows older to correct other anomalies.
A hub of medical tourism, India attracts thousands of patients from all over the world, owing to low costs and high quality of medical care.
Karam’s father Sarwed Ahmed Nadar, who was initially horrified when his son was born, said his only hope was that his son now grows up normal and healthy.
The 28-year-old said: ‘He is my only child and the first-born is always special. There were a lot of risks but I never lost hope.’