Neurosurgeons from Kolkata, India, have successfully operated on a baby suffering from a rare disease, giving the child an impression of having two heads, a condition affecting 45,000 children.
The anomaly, termedencephalomeningocele - aprotrusion of brain and its protective layers - "mimics" the normal head and makes it appear as if the child (eight month old) had two heads.
"The condition mimics the head and gives an appearance of two heads," said Sisir Das, a senior consultant neurosurgeon at the Apollo Gleneagles Institute of Neurosciences, who performed the procedure.
Das and a team of specialists were instrumental in removing the cyst-like growth that may be triggered by certain teratogenic agents (agents that cause malformations in the foetus) like radiation etc.
One of the reasons, according to Das, is failure on the part of the pregnant mother to regularly take folic acid supplements during the gestation period.
"The mother did not take any folic acid tablets which is necessary during pregnancy. This probably resulted in the malformation," he said.