A team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, paediatricians, and nurses, led by Dr. Dominic Konadu-Yeboah, Senior Specialist in Trauma and Orthopaedics, has accomplished a remarkable six-hour operation at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to repair a complex congenital limb malformation in a five-month-old baby.
The baby, delivered via caesarean section at a district hospital, was referred to KATH four hours after birth due to polymelia, an abnormality where supernumerary limbs are attached to a segment of the body.
In addition to polymelia, the baby also had other associated conditions, including abnormal kidney positioning, anorectal malformation, genital fistula, and visual impairment.
Polymelia is a rare limb malformation occurring in approximately 6 per 10,000 live births, with only a few cases reported in the lower limbs. Its pathogenesis is diverse, including instances where identical twins in the womb fail to separate completely during baby formation. When the extra limbs are attached to the pelvis, it is referred to as pyromelia.
Dr. Konadu-Yeboah in a publication by KATH said extensive discussions and education regarding the baby’s condition took place with the parents prior to the surgery. A team of experts provided psychological counseling, informing the family about the procedure, potential outcomes, and possible complications.
After five months of meticulous preparations and pre-operative investigations involving Computer Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), echo, and ultrasound scans to detect any other associated abnormalities, the complex surgical repair operation took place on February 20, 2023, lasting nearly six hours.
Dr. Konadu-Yeboah reported that the immediate and intermediate postoperative periods have been successfully managed without complications, and the baby is steadily recovering as anticipated. Additional minor procedures and surgical interventions will be performed to fully restore normal functioning for the baby.
In the past, babies with such conditions were often abandoned or left to perish by their families. Dr. Konadu-Yeboah emphasized that with the current medical expertise available in Ghana, particularly at KATH, such babies now have the opportunity to live normal lives if promptly referred for specialized interventions.
The parents of the baby expressed their satisfaction with the progress thus far and lauded the team of surgeons and all the staff members involved in the successful surgery of their child.
The multidisciplinary team consisted of trauma and orthopaedic surgeons, paediatric surgeons, anaesthesiologists, paediatricians, nurses, and other specialists, including Drs. Obiageli Joan Ofungwu, Johnny Sobotie, Kwasi Twumasi-Baah Jnr., and Mr. Samuel Twene Boadi. Additional contributors were Drs. Ebenezer Akomea-Agyin, Anthony Davor, George Osei Prempeh, Sophia Ankrah, Yaw Asiedu Basoah, Abigail Opoku, Gabriel Asante, Robert Sagoe, Boateng Nimako, and Prof. Paul Poku Sampene Ossei. Also present were Drs. Seth Agyemang, Solomon Djangmah, Lynda Akalazu Ogechi, Zulfawu Ibrahim, Helena Okrah, and Michael Amoah, all from KATH.
Prof. Otchere Addai-Mensah, the CEO of KATH, commended Dr. Konadu-Yeboah and the team for successfully undertaking such a complex surgery. He highlighted that this achievement exemplifies the power of teamwork. He urged the various clinical directorates and units to continue sharing and combining their expertise to provide world-class solutions for the complex and growing healthcare needs of patients at the hospital.