WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: Doctors say the boy developed it in womb as a result of a neural tube deformity but it appeared outside at age of 14.
A teenage boy has had an eight-inch long “tail” removed from his back.
The tail had started to grow on the back of the teenager just after his 14th birthday.
But over the past four years, the “tail” had grown to 8 inches long on the Indian boy, now 18.
His doctors believe the case requires examination in a medical journal as the “tail” could be the longest recorded so far after other shorter tails of about 6 inches in length.
His family, who were apprehensive about drawing a public attention to the condition of their son, finally decided to get the tail removed.
They refused to have their identity disclosed.
Doctors say the boy might have developed the “tail” in the womb as a result of a neural tube deformity but it appeared outside only after he grew up.
His mother, unnamed in reports, said: “I had been taking him to doctors for routine checkups but no one ever notified me about anything.
“My son was absolutely normal.
“It became a problem when the ‘tail’ grew outside the body- He would just lift the ‘tail’ every time he needed to change his clothes.
“I could see that it was very annoying and painful for him so I finally took him to a hospital.”
A team of neurosurgeons at the government Super Specialty Hospital successfully removed the human tail, apparently the longest recorded so far.
The head of the neurosurgery department and the team, Dr Pramod Giri said: “Though the family knew about this unusual growth, they did not see a doctor due to the social stigma and superstition attached to it.
“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. The defect can be surgically corrected within few months of birth.”
Dr Giri said: “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 but it is done by a neurosurgeon as the growth of ‘tail’ involves a part of the spinal cord.
“It arises from a compression at the tail end of the back and is medically referred 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.”
Dr Giri added: “The boy would be under observation for a few days and his medication will go on for a couple of weeks so that it doesn’t hurt anymore.”