Docs to operate on boy born with 31 fingers, toes

An 8-month-old Chinese boy has undergone the first of three surgeries to correct a rare defect wherein he was born with 31 fingers and toes.

Asia Wire Report (AWR) reported that the unidentified boy, who is being called Hong Hong and Yuan Yuan, has 15 fingers and 16 toes, but no thumbs on either palm. He suffers from polydactyly, which leads to extra digits, but doctors say this boy’s case is rare due to the number of extra fingers and toes he has. They speculated that he may have inherited the condition from his mother, who has an extra finger on each hand.

Studies suggest the prevalence of polydactyly varies, but AWR reported its incidence is one in every 1,000 live births. According to the National Institutes of Health, the condition may have a genetic link.

The boy’s surgeries will involve cutting off then reshaping his digits. Surgeons plan to operate on his bones, joints, skin and nails, as well as his critical veins. Doctors predict a lengthy and rigorous recovery regime, AWR reported. They have already operated on his feet.

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AWR reported that, after hearing of the boy’s case, the No. 6 Hospital in Ningbo City, in East China’s Zhejiang province, agreed to lower the cost of his treatment, which could be as high as about $75,000 in the country.

The hospital also promised follow-up treatments for the boy for the next 16 years, AWR reported. They plan to finish the surgery series by the time he begins school.