A TWO-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs was undergoing high risk surgery in Bangalore, India, to remove the extra limbs.
The girl, who has been called Lakshmi aftet a four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth, has been living with her parents in a remote village in the northern state of Bihar where she has been both venerated and hounded, newswire AP reports.
Lakshmi suffers from a rare condition called isciopagus, which means that she is joined to a twin who stopped developing in the womb.
The twin’s limbs, kidneys and other body parts have been absorbed in Lakshmi’s body.
Lakshmi cannot stand or walk and she has merged spines, four kidneys, entangled nerves, two stomach cavities and two chest cavities.
She has been given an 75-80 percent chance of surviving the surgery, which began this morning at Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore when a team of 30 doctors began removing the extra limbs and organs.
"It’s a big team effort of a lot of skilled surgeons who will be putting their heart and soul into solving the problem of Laxmi," said Dr Sharan Patil, the lead surgeon in the operation said to AP.
"It’s going to take many, many hours on a continuous basis to operate on the baby. So, these issues definitely make it complex."
Lakshmi has been described as a cute and playful girl who gets on well with others.
"Everybody considers her a goddess at our village," said her father, Shambhu, told AP.
"All this expenditure has happened to make her normal. So far, everything is fine."
However Lakshmi’s condition has drawn unwanted attention.
Her parents hid her after a circus apparently tried to buy the girl, they told AP.
The hospital’s foundation is paying for the operation.