Baby with "two heads" undergo operation to remove massive cyst

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“Many doctors told me there was a 90 per cent chance my baby would die if he had surgery. Doctors said not to risk it because successful surgery was impossible”

A toddler in India was born with a fluid-filled sac on the back of his head, which grew so big that locals had come to dub it as a second head.

Dr. Hariprakash Chakravarthy, a neurosurgeon at Sapthagiri Hospital, said that the condition is due to mothers suffering from folic acid deficiency.

“This deformity is known as occipital encephalocele,” he said in a Mirror report, “and happens when there’s a gap between two bones of the skull, and as the skull develops it grows into a bulge filled with fluid.”

Doctors told Karriappa Naranal and his wife Shridevi Naranal, a couple from the Tavariyara village in Karnataka, that their son Yamanoor had no hope of treatment days after he was born.

“Many doctors told me there was a 90 per cent chance my baby would die if he had surgery,” said Karriappa.

“Doctors said not to risk it because successful surgery was impossible. But then we got a ray of hope in Bangalore when a doctor said there was a 50-50 chance of survival so we went for it.”

The cyst was almost the size of a baby’s head at 17 cm-20 cm in diameter when Yamanoor was admitted to Sapthagiri Hospital, in Karnataka, Bangalore.

Baby with "two heads" undergo operation to remove massive cyst

Photo credit: Cover Asia Press

Going into the surgery, however, the doctors weren’t positive that the operation would go successfully due to the delicacy of the toddler’s condition.

But after six-hours of grueling surgery, Yamanoor survived.

“We had very low expectation about the success of the surgery since a young baby cannot afford to lose a lot of blood,” said Dr. Hariprakash. “Even a 10 ml to 20 ml loss of blood can cause the heart to stop.”

“When we cut the protruding part of the brain it resulted in some blood loss but thankfully nothing bad happened and the little baby survived.”

The ordeal isn’t far from over, with Yamanoor having to go under the knife again in a month’s time, but despite this, his father is grateful.

“Now he’s doing fine I am so thankful to that care worker,” he said. “My son will need a check up every three months but all is well.”

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