A young girl in China is scheduled to undergo a lengthy four-stage operation to remove a "spare" arm growing from her back, according to a report by News.com.au.

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Ren Xin, 11, will have the extra limb removed by surgeons in Beijing next week.

Chinese media has quoted doctors as saying there had been fewer than 20 cases of similar conditions reported around the nation.

Earlier this month, doctors in India successfully removed four extra limbs from 2-year-old Lakshmi Tatma.

The toddler had been a conjoined twin, but as her body grew the additional limbs became part of her body. The two arms and two legs were removed in a marathon operation.