8-Limbed Girl's Surgery a Success

Toddler revered as Hindu goddess stable after 27-hour operation
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2007 6:37 AM CST
Chief orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sharan Patil, heading the operation on Lakshmi, addresses the media at the Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore, India, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007. The 2-year-old girl born with four arms...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Doctors successfully completed an extremely complicated 27-hour surgery on an eight-limbed Indian toddler whose village reveres her as a goddess. Lakshmi Tatma, 2, was born entangled with an incompletely developed headless twin sister. "Beyond our expectations, the reconstruction worked wonderfully well," said one of the surgeons. Doctors removed Lakshmi's two extra arms and legs, as well as excess organs, and rebuilt her pelvis.

The Bangalore hospital provided the operation for free. Lakshmi's parents are poor day laborers in northern India. Lakshmi's neighbors believe she's a reincarnation of the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth and asked for blessings. Her parents had to hide her from circus managers who tried to buy the toddler. Her mother said she hoped Lakshmi "can lead a normal life after the operation."