Teenager has 20cm tail he 'kept secret' removed from lower back by surgeons
Published 08/10/2016 | 13:49
Surgeons in India have removed a 20cm 'tail growing on a teenager’s lower back after he complained the growth had become too painful, reports say.
The 18-year-old’s family believed the growth was a "good luck charm" and ignored it, according to the surgeon who operated on him.
He went to see his doctor when the growth, known as a vestigial tail, began causing him problems while sitting down and sleeping, the Times of India (TOI) reports.
Neurosurgeons at the Super Specialty Hospital (SSH), in the city of Nagpur, removed the tail that had been growing at the bottom of his spine.
Dr Pramod Giri, head of the neurosurgery department at Neuron Hospital, told the TOI: “Generally, the defect is detected very early as it is present from birth and since it grows with age it cannot remain undetected.
"But the parents as well as the child hid the fact all these years. Literature shows that the defect can be surgically corrected within few months of birth.”
He added: “When the size of the tail grew and a bone developed inside it, the tail began to press on the boy's back. It was cosmetically and psychologically disturbing for him. Hence the parents approached us.
“Though the surgery is not very demanding, it is done by a neurosurgeon as it involves a part of the spinal cord. It arises from a compression at the tail end of the back and is medically referred to as the neuro-development abnormality. This case is very rare and calls for a presentation in a medical journal as the tail is apparently the longest recorded so far.”
The boy’s family hid the growth as they feared he would be bullied because of the "social stigma", according to the Indian Express.
A vestigial tail left untreated can result in bowel and bladder problems, as well as loss of function in the legs, the site adds.
Earlier this year, a massive hairball was removed from a British woman’s stomach after seven years.
While a Welsh woman who complained of an earache was horrified by what she found.