Girl born with 14 fingers has life-changing surgery to correct the birth defect that left her with two extra digits on each hand

May 23, 2019  21:30

A girl born with 14 fingers has undergone a life-changing operation to correct the birth defect.

The unidentified three-year-old, from China, had two extra thumb-like digits on each hand.

Local reports state the defect has been observed in members of the girl's family going back five generations.

However, the poverty-stricken family was reportedly too poor to ever seek medical treatment to rid her of her extra fingers.

It is unclear whether the family were offered free treatment in the end.

She was treated at the Central Hospital of Shenyang Medical College, in the north-eastern province of Liaoning.

Medics promised the procedure would not affect the child’s development, and would preserve both the function and aesthetics of her hands.

Hand surgery specialist Dr Zhan Jie, who operated on her, said: 'The girl had two extra fingers on each hand - quite a rare patient.

'The surgery was complicated by the fact that the fingers we wanted to keep and those we wanted to remove weren’t clear and obvious.'

As well as removing the extra digits, the medics also straightened her thumbs and redirected the bone growth with the help of metal rods.

'It’s been a month since the operation. She came back after two weeks to have her sutures removed,' Dr Zhan said.

He added: 'Both we and the patient’s family are satisfied with the appearance of her hands.'

Dr Zhan did not say whether the girl would require follow-up surgery in the future for minor corrections.

It is unclear if the girl was born with polydactyly, when too many fingers and toes are formed in the womb during the sixth or seventh week of pregnancy.

Polydactyly affects around one in every 700-to-1,000 births worldwide, statistics show. It is usually picked up during an ultrasound scan.

Patients in developed countries typically have the extra digits surgically removed by the time they turn two years old, according to Boston Children's Hospital.

Source: The Daily Mail

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