Donia Al watanAn Iraqi baby born with eight limbs has finally returned home after undergoing life-changing surgery abroad.
Karam, seven months, was flown to India last October for a complex operation to remove his extra arms and legs.
Hailed as a world first, the three-stage procedure at Jaypee Hospital, Delhi, proved to be a complete success.
His parents, who were initially horrified at the condition of their child, were left 'very happy' as they returned home, according to hospital officials.
His father, Sarwed Ahmed Nadar, 28, said his only hope was that his son now grows up normal and healthy.
He added: 'He is my only child and the first-born is always special. There were a lot of risks but I never lost hope.'
Senior orthopaedic consultant Dr Gaurav Rathore, who was involved in the surgery, said that a lot of what they tried they had not attempted before.
He continued: 'When Karam was brought to Jaypee Hospital for the first time, he was just two weeks old and his condition was very critical.
'He had four extra limbs by birth-out of which two hands and a leg were like of a normal child.
'One leg of the baby was shorter than the usual size and the other one was divided into two parts looking like two separate limbs.
'In addition, two limbs - one like a leg and the other one like a hand were protruding out of the stomach. The baby's normal leg was also slightly crooked.'
Karam was plagued by an extremely rare condition where a conjoined twin did not fully form.
Instead of growing a separate body, the other undeveloped baby's limbs absorbed into his as a result of polymelia.
The rare disorder occurs in the womb when the cells form abnormally during embryonic development.
The embryo begins to develop as conjoined twins. But one twin stops growing, leaving their remaining developments attached to the body of the live baby.
There are just a handful of known cases worldwide of this condition, which made the task more difficult for the doctors.
The first part of the surgery involved removing the limbs sticking out from his stomach, Dr Rathore told local reporters.
Surgeons then corrected a cardiac problem that occurred as a result of his rare condition.
The final procedure saw doctors remove all the extra limbs, though he will require more procedures as he grows older to correct other anomalies.
A hub of medical tourism, India attracts thousands of patients from all over the world, owing to low costs and high quality of medical care.