Surgery

Baby born with 4 legs, 2 spines recovering after reconstructive surgery

  • Hospital staff prepare 10-month old "Baby Dominique" for surgery to treat the infant born with four legs and two spines at Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois

    Hospital staff prepare 10-month old "Baby Dominique" for surgery to treat the infant born with four legs and two spines at Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois  (Copyright Reuters 2017)

  • Hospital staff prepare 10-month old "Baby Dominique" for surgery to treat the infant born with four legs and two spines at Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois

    Hospital staff prepare 10-month old "Baby Dominique" for surgery to treat the infant born with four legs and two spines at Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois  (Copyright Reuters 2017)

  • Surgeons prepare 10-month old "Baby Dominique" for surgery to treat the infant born with four legs and two spines at Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois

    Surgeons prepare 10-month old "Baby Dominique" for surgery to treat the infant born with four legs and two spines at Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois  (Copyright Reuters 2017)

A 10-month-old girl born with four legs and two spines is recovering after doctors successfully removed what they have identified as her twin’s partially formed body. The girl, identified only has Dominique, was born in the Ivory Coast and was flown to Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, for the procedure.

“A parasitic twin is an identical twin that fails to fully separate in development,” John Ruge, a pediatric neurosurgeon at the hospital, told Reuters. “In other words, not another independent twin, but a twin that was dependent on her body system, such that Dominique’s heart and lungs provided the nourishment.”

On March 8, five surgeons worked for six hours to remove the two extra legs near her shoulders, as well as the second spine. After spending five days in the hospital, she was released to a Chicago-area foster family, who will care for her until she returns to West Africa, Reuters reported.

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“It’s going rather well,” Frank Vicari, a pediatric and reconstructive surgeon, told Reuters. “She’s been home with ‘step-mom’ and just doing very, very  well.”

Dominique’s family was not identified, but her foster family told Reuters that they have been exchanging photos of her recovery.

Reuters contributed to this report.