A 5-month-old baby born with a complex congenital limb malformation is gradually on the way to living a normal life as it recuperates after a six-hour surgical operation by doctors at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
Following five months of preparation, research and investigation, a team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, paediatricians, and nurses, led by Dr Dominic Konadu-Yeboah, Senior Specialist in Trauma and Orthopaedics carried out the surgery on February 20, 2023.
To get it right and also to increase the success rate, the health officials undertook Computer Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), echo, and ultrasound scans to detect any other associated abnormalities before commencing the procedure.
According to Graphic Online, the baby was delivered via caesarean section at a district hospital before it was referred to KATH four hours after birth due to polymelia, an abnormality where supernumerary limbs are attached to a segment of the body. In addition to polymelia, the baby also had other associated conditions, including abnormal kidney positioning, anorectal malformation, genital fistula, and visual impairment.
Polymelia is a rare limb malformation occurring in approximately 6 per 10,000 live births, with only a few cases reported in the lower limbs. Its pathogenesis is diverse, including instances where identical twins in the womb fail to separate completely during baby formation. When the extra limbs are attached to the pelvis, it is referred to as pyromelia.
Team lead, Dr Konadu-Yeboah said that the immediate and intermediate postoperative periods have been successfully managed without complications, and the baby is steadily recovering, while additional minor procedures and surgical interventions will be performed to fully restore normal functioning for the baby, Graphic Online reports.
It is reported that before the surgery, a team of experts provided psychological counselling, informing the family about the procedure, potential outcomes, and possible complications.
Dr. Konadu-Yeboah disclosed that malformed babies now have higher chances of survival and living normal life, if the cases are reported promptly, due to the availability of medical expertise in Ghana, particularly at KATH.