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24 Oct 2021, Edition - 2294, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Challenging surgery on toddler with giant hands

Covai Post Network

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This toddler has perhaps the largest hands in the world. Eight-year –old Mohammed Kaleem, from Chass Village, Bokaro, Jharkhand, never stepped out of his house as the people in his village believed he was an incarnation of evil because of his huge hands.

The photograph of his giant limbs and bulged chest was circulated in the net and many surgeons from abroad like Spain, UK and USA had advised amputation to reduce the size. Eventually he was brought to Ganga Hosptial in November last year.

While the boy was thin and frail weighing 21kgs, his forelimbs alone weighed 8kgs in total. Dr S Rajasabapathy, Department of Plastic Surgery, Ganga Hospital told Covai Post that the condition is called local gigantism or “ Proteus Syndrome” named after an old man in the Greek mythology who was gifted with the power of prophesy and who changes himself to any form.

Due to the size, his hands were totally useless and he had to drag himself to move and this hampered his walk as well. The doctors of the hospital took up the challenging surgery and reduced the size of his forearm.

It was an arduous task to separate the muscles, tendons, nerves and blood vessels from the mass of fat and fibrous tissues. Once this was done, the boy and the family felt happy because he was feeling much lighter.

The villagers who had scared the family that the boy would die if operated upon were startled to see him feel light and alive . Earlier he wore a shirt with a zipper on the side but now he wears regular shirt.

He came back again to the hospital in January 2015 and then it was his hands. His hand measured 13 inches from the wrist to the finger tip. Operating on his hand was tricky because though the hand was huge it had relatively less blood supply, the Plastic Surgeon said.

The challenge was to debulk and reduce the size of the fingers such that it did not affect the survival of the finger. Each finger was radically shortened on all sides. He is now able to lift his hands and can use it much better than before.

When he first stepped inside the hospital his parents brought him fully covered and wrapped in a bed sheet but after the two operations Kaleem no longer covered his hands, the surgeon recalled.

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