Girl born with 14 fingers has life-changing surgery

A girl born with two extra thumbs on each hand has had surgery to correct the birth defect stretching back five generations.

Doctors were taken aback by the rare condition of the three-year-old and weren’t sure which fingers to keep or remove at first.

The defect runs in the family but due to financial restraints, none of her relatives had ever sought medical treatment.

The parents of the toddler, who has not been named, consulted several hospitals and professionals before finding hand surgery specialist Zhan Jie.

He gave them his word that the procedure would not affect the child’s development and would preserve the function of her hands.

Dr Zhan, who carried out the operation at Shenyang Medical College, in China’s Liaoning Province, called the girl ‘quite a rare patient’.

He added: ‘The surgery was complicated by the fact that the fingers we wanted to keep and those we wanted to remove weren’t clear and obvious.

‘Besides removing the extra digits, we also needed to make corrections to the angle.’

Pictures taken before the operation show two extra digits growing from each of her unusual elongated thumbs.

Doctor Zhan and his team were not only able to remove the extra digits, they also straightened her thumbs and used metal rods to redirect bone growth.

He didn’t say if the girl would need any follow-up surgery in the future.

He added: ‘It’s been a month since the operation. She came back after two weeks to have her sutures removed.

‘Both we and the patient’s family are satisfied with the appearance of her hands.’

Not everyone born with extra fingers or toes wants to get rid of theirs.

The 14 strong De Silva family from Brazil have a gene which gives them six fingers and six toes.

They see it as a blessing, believing their extra digits have made them better musicians and goalkeepers.