A six-month-old baby girl in the US recently underwent an operation to remove her second mouth, which was complete with lips, teeth and tongue.
A six-month-old baby girl recently underwent an operation to remove her second mouth, which was complete with lips, teeth and tongue.
According to BMJ Case Reports, the extra mass was first spotted in scans at week 28 of pregnancy and the doctors believed that it was a possible cyst or tumour.
However, when the baby was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the doctors found that the 0.8-inch ‘mass’ was actually a second mouth.
The little girl is one of the 35 people known to have suffered from Diprosopus or duplication of facial parts since 1900.
According to the case report, the doctors said that the second mouth had no connection to the main mouth.
The baby could breathe, was and drink normally, however, the doctors informed that the second mouth sometimes produced a clear liquid – possible saliva – and at times a raw surface would also appear around it.
The doctors soon decided to perform surgery so that the extra organ could be removed.
Once the little girl was admitted to the hospital, the operation involved drilling down on her mandible extra bone supporting teeth for the other mouth.
The doctors wrote in the case report that after surgery, the little girl developed some mild fullness on the right face at the surgical incision for which a scan was performed, revealing a fluid collection.
However, further, they informed that the fullness resolved over several months and she did not require further treatment.
“In the report, the doctors wrote, “At a follow-up appointment at 2 weeks of age, the infant was healthy appearing, feeding well and gaining weight with no oral incompetence”.
However, they also noted that the little girl was unable to move the right lower lip downwards, which could mean muscles in that area was no longer working.
They said, “The incisions were well healed and the patient was feeding without difficulty but had persistence of the inability to depress the right lower lip, which could represent agenesis of oral depressor muscles or their innervation”.
Diprosopus, which has reportedly also been recorded in chickens, sheep and other animals is an extremely rare condition.
The researchers believe that the condition is a result of problems in proteins signalling facial structure during pregnancy, which can lead to a widening of facial features and duplication of their structures.
According to an international media report, back in 2004, a boy was born with a large cleft, two separate nostrils and an abnormally shaped head due to the condition.