Health

Baby with two mouths has operation to remove one of them


Doctors were surprised when the baby was born with an extra mouth (Picture: Alexandra O Hamberis; David Macias; Clarice Clemmens; Krishna G Patel / BMJ)

A six-month-old baby girl has undergone an operation to remove her second mouth – after being one of just 35 people known to have the condition.

The baby, from Charleston, South Carolina, was born with a 0.8-inch extra mouth on the side of her chin.

When doctors first spotted it in scans at week 28 of pregnancy, they thought it was a cyst or a tumour, MailOnline reports.

She is one of just 35 people since the year 1900 known to have suffered from Diprosopus – or duplication of facial parts.

Writing in the BMJ Case Reports journal, doctors said her second mouth had no connection to the main mouth, and that she could breathe, eat and drink normally.

They added it would sometimes produce a clear liquid – probably saliva – and at times a raw surface would appear around it.

The girl was admitted for surgery so the extra organ could be removed. This involved drilling down on her jawbone to remove extra bone supporting teeth for the other mouth.

The paper said: ‘After surgery, she developed some mild fullness of the right face at the surgical incision for which a scan was performed, revealing a fluid collection.

Surgeons had to operate on the little girl’s jawbone to remove the extra organ (Picture: Alexandra O Hamberis; David Macias; Clarice Clemmens; Krishna G Patel / BMJ)
The baby has healed well following the operation (Picture: Alexandra O Hamberis; David Macias; Clarice Clemmens; Krishna G Patel / BMJ)

‘The fullness resolved over several months and she did not require further treatment.

‘At the six-month follow-up, the incisions were well-healed and the patient was feeding without difficulty.’

But they also noted she was unable to move the right lower lip downwards, which could mean muscles in that area are no longer working.

Diprosopus, which has also been recorded in chickens, sheep, cats and other animals is an extremely rare condition.

Scientists said it results from problems in proteins signalling facial structure during pregnancy, which can lead to a widening of facial features and duplication of their structures.

A boy was born in Missouri in 2004 who had a large cleft, two separate nostrils and an abnormally shaped head due to the condition.

Tres Johnson celebrated his 13th birthday in 2017, amazing doctors who didn’t expect him to live.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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