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An Indian girl born with four
An Indian girl born with four arms and four legs who underwent surgery to remove the extra limbs, could start to learn to walk in a few weeks' time, the chief surgeon said on Wednesday.

Officials at the Sparsh Hospital in the southern Indian city of Bangalore said earlier today the two-year-old girl, named Lakshmi after the Hindu four-armed goddess, was in a stable condition after the complex 27-hour surgery conducted by a team of 36 doctors.

"If the girl is recovering as expected, we will start her rehabilitation in a few weeks, and start to teach her to walk," Sharanu Patil, the surgeon who led the marathon surgery, said.

Patil said the next two or three days were critical and doctors would closely monitor Lakshmi, who is currently in intensive care. "If everything goes well, she will be transferred from intensive care to a general ward," he said, adding that she would undergo daily blood tests to monitor her condition.

Patil said although the girl's legs, which jutted out awkwardly from her body, have been "moved down," Lakshmi will face more minor orthopedic surgery in the coming months.

The girl was born attached to a parasitic twin, which ceased developing in the mother's womb. The surviving foetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the twin.

Patil described the surgery during which Lakshmi's pelvic ring was rebuilt and her two kidneys saved as a "spectacular success." He said "the most difficult was to plan and work as a team."

He said that gaining an understanding of such operations has been the main experience gained by the hospital.

In her remote village in the northern state of Bihar, Lakshmi is revered by some as the reincarnation of the Hindu goddess.

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