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10-Month-Old Baby Dominique Born With 2 Spines, 4 Legs Survives Surgery to Remove Parasitic Twin

Mar 22, 2017 01:24 PM EDT
A 10-month old child from Ivory Coast, West Africa is currently recovering from an operation that successfully removed an extra set of legs from her body.
(Photo : Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A 10-month-old child from Ivory Coast, West Africa, is currently recovering from an operation that successfully remove her parasitic twin.

The girl, named Dominique, was born with two spines and four legs. Her condition was caused by a parasitic twin that was not fully developed. Due to the potential of the extra body parts to paralyze Dominique and cause damage to her heart and lungs, the parasitic twin is needed to be removed immediately.

"It's as if the identical twin sort of dove into her body from the back and the only part sticking out were the hips and legs," said Dr. John Ruge, who was part of the team that operated on baby Dominique, in a report from Chicago Tribune.

Doctors and specialists at the Advocate Children's Hospital conducted an MRI, an MRA, a CAT scan, X-rays and a CT myelogram in order to analyze the parasitic twin's anatomy and determine how it connected with the main body. Using scans and advanced imaging, doctors also created a 3D model of Dominique's two spines.

The surgery was conducted on March 8 and was attended by a team of five surgeons and over 50 specialized physicians. According to the report from Fox31 Denver, Dominique's surgical team was made up of neurosurgeons, plastic and craniofacial surgeons, pediatric orthopedics, anesthesiologists, nephrologists, radiologists, the Pediatic Intensive Care Unit, physician assistants, nursing staff and therapists.

The doctors were able to remove the extra pair of limbs and a second bladder. However, they left the second spine inside Dominique's body because they are not sure which one controls and support her structure and bodily functions. The doctors believe that having two spines won't affect Dominique that much as she grow older.

After the surgery, which lasted for six hours, Dominique is about 2 pounds lighter. At present, Dominique lives with the Swabb family until mid-April. Dominique's surgery was made possible by Children's Medical Missions West, Advocate Children's Hospital and Nancy Swabb and her family.

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