A baby is undergoing surgery after he was born with fifteen fingers and sixteen toes. Babies are often born with extra digits, although it is odd to see so many and so fully developed.
HOW CAN BABIES BE BORN WITH EXTRA DIGITS?
Having an extra finger or toe is called polydactyly.
The extra digit may range from a small, raised bump to a complete, working finger or toe. Most of the time, it’s smaller than the other digits and not well formed.
Sometimes the extra digit is only skin (a nubbin), and it connects to the hand or foot with only a narrow stalk of tissue.
If the digit is better formed, it may have all the normal tissues – such as bone, muscles, blood vessels and nerves. In this case, it connects to the hand or foot deep inside.
There are three types of polydactyly based on where the digit is:
- The extra digit is outside the thumb or big toe (pre-axial polydactyly). When the digit is outside the thumb, it’s also called radial polydactyly. When it’s outside the big toe, it’s also called tibial polydactyly.
- The extra digit is outside the little finger or little toe (post-axial polydactyly). When the digit is outside the little finger, it’s also called ulnar polydactyly. When it’s outside the little toe, it’s also called fibular polydactyly.
- The extra digit is between other fingers or toes (central polydactyly).
Polydactyly in children is fairly common. It happens in about 1 in 1,000 babies.
Source: Seattle’s Children’s Hospital
According to reports, Yuanyuan’s mother was born with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot.
The family are from Hunan Province in southern China.
Yuanyuan’s digits are asymmetrical meaning that they will need to be reshaped.
Doctors say that the surgery will be long and a long period of recovery will be needed once the operations are complete.
Because the medical treatment is highly costly, the hospital has decided to reduce the cost of the procedures.
Doctor Xu Jihai from No 6 Ningbo Hospital told reporters that the surgery will be completed in three phases.
The first phase involves removing the toes and ensuring that the child is able to walk.
Once that is finished, the second phase involves making thumbs for the infant and removing additional fingers.
While the third would completely reshape the child’s fingers.