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A baby girl born left doctors flabbergasted after they discovered that she'd been born with a tail.
Upon noticing the anomaly, surgeons in Brazil reacted quickly, performing an operation to remove the 6cm-long skin-covered appendage, protruding from her back.
Following a successful procedure, medics closed the hole.
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The infant, who has not been identified, was born with a congenital disability known as spina bifida, which occurs when the spinal cord fails to develop normally.
The condition caused a gap to form in her spine, likely resulting in the growth of the tail.
Experts from Grendaac, a children's hospital in Sau Paulo, claimed that the tail generated upwards from the lumbosacral region, which joins the spine and the pelvis.
They diagnosed it as a “human pseudo-tail”, a growth that looks like a tail but is a consequence of spine problems or tumours.
On the contrary, a tail contains muscle, blood vessels and nerves but no bones.
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Pictures of the remarkable case were published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery Case Reports.
The case generated international interest, with researchers from the Centre for Fetal and Placental Research in Ohio, joining forces with the Brazilian doctors to investigate the issue
They wrote: "Human caudal appendages are rare lesions that impose an enormous stigma on their carriers and parents.
“Fetal caudal appendages are associated with spinal dysraphisms (spina bifida), and its presence therefore mandates careful screening for underlying spinal cord defects.
“Identifying of the numerous possible associated anomalies is critical to plan the correct treatment and offer good quality counselling.”
They emphasised that surgery is imperative to prevent stigma and complications such as pain, torsion, further growth, irritation, or breakdown.
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Medical occurrences like this are not isolated incidents. In 2020, a Mexican girl was born with a very rare, 5cm-long 'true tail', which is a benign appendage, made up of just tissue and fat. This is significantly less common, with a grand total of just 40 cases reported around the globe
On this occasion, medical experts snipped the tail and reconstructed the area via Limberg plasty. The operation involves transporting tissue from the patient's bottom.
The surgery was successful, and now the baby girl can live her life without a tail.
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