Doctors save teen who lived with organs outside body for 19 years

A teenager who had lived with her vital organs outside her body for 19 years has been saved by doctors.

Sauda Suleiman Amour, 19, was born with a defective abdominal wall that caused her liver and a part of her intestine to stick out of her abdomen.

Patients with the disorder are usually operated on within hours of birth, but Amour underwent two failed operations when she was 5-years-old.

She dropped out of school four years ago allegedly due to cruel comments from bullies who said she looked "pregnant," and she was always worried about her organs being knocked into.

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Surgeons used air to stretch her abdomen for two weeks and relaxed the muscles with botox before they put her organs back inside.

WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO AHEAD

Sauda, from Tanzania, went to SRM Institutes of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Hospital, Chennai, India, for the operation, and is now recovering at home.

Sauda Suleiman Amour whose liver grew outside her body. See SWNS story SWORGANJ; 19-year-old Sauda Suleiman Amour of Tanzania was born with a defective abdominal wall with her liver and a part of intestines jutting out of her abdomen, covered by a thin membrane (Omphalocele). Usually, such children are operated upon within hours of birth but in her case, it did not happen. She survived and grew with her liver also growing outside her abdomen. When she was five years old, local surgeons in her home country did attempt to operate on her twice albeit unsuccessfully. Amour had dropped out of school four years ago and was bullied for her bloated stomach since people thought she was pregnant. “The poor girl could not go to school or play outside because of the football-sized structure jutting outside her abdomen. She had to protect it all along as any blunt injury to it would have been fatal. When we saw her we were aghast to see the entire liver outside the abdomen just covered by a layer of unhealthy skin,” said Dr. Radhakrishna Patta -- Director and Senior Consultant, Surgical Gastroenterology of SRM Institutes of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Hospital, Chennai.

The teen's organs were only protected by a thin layer of skin.  (SWNS)

"The poor girl could not go to school or play outside because of the football-sized structure jutting outside her abdomen," Dr. Radhakrishna Patta, director and senior consultant, said. "She had to protect it all along as any blunt injury to it would have been fatal."

"When we saw her we were aghast to see the entire liver outside the abdomen just covered by a layer of unhealthy skin," Patta said. "Our job was to put back the liver into the abdomen without causing any damage to her or her liver."

"But there was no space in the abdomen, not even for a structure, a tenth of her present liver," Patta said. "If we need to succeed in this operation we need to make adequate space in her abdomen. We instituted ‘pre-operative pneumoperitoneum' by poking a needle into her abdomen and pump room air in progressively increasing doses over a two week period."

"Every single day we used to pump enough air till she felt uncomfortable or breathless," Patta said. "We used a mesh to strengthen her abdominal wall."

"She had to be put on a ventilator for four days after surgery while her abdomen got adjusted to its new tenant," Patta said. "A week after surgery she was on a liquid diet and up and about. Miss Amour’s wounds have healed very well and she has since got discharged and went back to Tanzania about a week ago."