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AIIMS doctors attempt a miracle

Bindu Shajan Perappadan

Historic operation might give 15-month-old a normal childhood


“Born with seven fingers on each of his hands and ten toes on each of his feet”


Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Hand of God:Doctors at AIIMS in New Delhi might be able to surgically remove little Akshat's extra digits, making his life ‘normal'. Photo:

NEW DELHI: If all goes well, 15-month-old Akshat from Uttar Pradesh will soon be able to wear shoes and also use his thumb. Born with seven fingers on each of his hands and ten toes on each of his feet, the child is currently admitted to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences where doctors are working away at giving him usable hands and feet.

“Since the child does not have a thumb, we will be using his extra fingers to shape the thumb. On his feet, too, all the extra digits will be removed to enable the child to use his feet well. The child's condition is most rare and has not been reported in medical literature so far,” said AIIMS Head of Orthopaedics Prof. P. P. Kotwal.

“The surgeries the child will have to undergo have to be planned carefully and the patient is being investigated regarding anomalies of blood vesselsin the hand. It is important since he requires staged surgical operations for the hand which includes excision of the extra digits,” said Prof. Kotwal addressing a press conference at the Institute on Wednesday.

“The thumb is reconstructed using one of the fingers which will look and function like a normal thumb. The child will have to undergo therapy to enable use of his thumb. The feet require excision of the extra digits and correction of the deformity to restore his normal gait,” he added.

The child's father, Manoj Saxena, who was also present at the press conference, said: “Of course we were worried when the child was born with the deformity. Now the doctors have examined him and found no other problem with him. They have also told us that there is no specific reason why he was born with this problem. According to his doctor, the body's blood supply to his hands and feet during the operation needs to be kept in mind. Otherwise there doesn't seem to be any major challenge. There is also some concern about the fact that his thumb will need to be reconstructed. But overall the doctors have assured us that our son will be able to use his hands and feet like any other child. We just wish he has a trouble-free childhood.”

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