A baby has had four of the six legs he was born with successfully removed, surgeons have announced.
The little boy, born in Sukkur, a city in Sindh Province earlier this month, underwent eight hours of surgery at Pakistan’s National Institute of Child Health (NICH), in Karachi.
On Thursday Dr Jamal Raza announced the operation had been a success. He told a press conference the extra limbs had been the result of a genetic disease which affects just one in a million babies.
There had been speculation the child’s condition was due to the presence of a conjoined twin.
The youngster was taken into the hospital’s care after his poverty-stricken father Imran Sheikh appealed for help.
Following the surgery, Mr Sheikh told the media: “We are a poor family. I am thankful to the government for helping us treating my baby."
Gynaecologist and President of the Pakistan Medical Association, Dr Samrina Hashmi, told the South Asian News Agency the baby's abnormalities could have been caused by several factors, including improper medicines taken by his mother during pregnancy and contaminated water.
“In every 10,000 child births one baby is born with an abnormality such as a hole in the heart,” she said.
“Then there is a possibility that several eggs were fertilised instead of one,” she said.
Before the surgery, Mr Sheikh had issued a direct appeal to the government, stating: “I can’t afford to visit Karachi and get treatment for my baby.
“I appeal to philanthropists and the government to come forward for the treatment.”