A team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, paediatricians, and nurses at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) have successfully conducted a six-hour operation to repair a complex congenital limb malformation known as polymelia on a five-month-old baby.
The publication on the hospital’s official website on May 16, 2023, mentioned Dr Dominic Konadu-Yeboah, Senior Specialist in Trauma and Orthopaedics, as the team leader of the operation.
The baby, who was delivered at a district hospital via caesarean section, was referred to KATH four hours after birth due to the presence of polymelia and several other abnormalities, including abnormal positioning of the right kidney, anorectal malformation, a genital fistula, and an eye visual problem.
According to the publication, Dr Konadu-Yeboah and his team had extensive discussions and education on the baby’s condition with the parents before the surgery, and the family also received psychological counselling, including information about the procedure, expected outcomes, and potential complications, from a team of experts.
After five months of intensive preparations and thorough pre-operative investigations, which included Computer Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and various scans to identify any additional associated abnormalities, the surgical repair operation was performed on February 20, 2023, lasting nearly six hours, the publication stated.
In the past, babies with such complex conditions were often abandoned or left to perish.
However, Dr Konadu-Yeboah emphasized that with the available medical expertise in the country, particularly at KATH, these babies now have a chance to live an everyday life if they are promptly referred for specialist interventions.
The team involved in the operation included trauma and orthopaedic surgeons, paediatric surgeons, anaesthesiologists, paediatricians, nurses, and other specialists.
Among them was Drs. Obiageli Joan Ofungwu, Johnny Sobotie, Kwasi Twumasi-Baah Jnr., and Mr. Samuel Twene Boadi, as well as Drs. Ebenezer Akomea-Agyin, Anthony Davor, George Osei Prempeh, Sophia Ankrah, Yaw Asiedu Basoah, Abigail Opoku, Gabriel Asante, Robert Sagoe, Boateng Nimako, and Prof. Paul Poku Sampene Osei.
The team also included Drs. Seth Agyemang, Solomon Djangmah, Lynda Akalazu Ogechi, Zulfawu Ibrahim, Helena Okrah, and Michael Amoah, all of whom are associated with KATH.
About limb malformation (ploymelia):
Polymelia is an extremely rare limb malformation characterized by supernumerary (extra) limbs attached to a body segment.
It occurs in approximately 6 per 10,000 live births, with only a few reported cases involving the lower limbs.
The condition’s pathogenesis varies and can result from the incomplete separation of identical twins during fetal development. When the extra limbs are attached to the pelvis, it is referred to as pyromelia.