Indian surgeons reconstruct baby’s swollen head

AFP-JIJI

Indian doctors have successfully completed a second round of reconstructive surgery on the skull of a baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to nearly double in size.

The four-hour-long surgery on the skull of 1-year-old Roona Begum was carried out at a hospital near New Delhi, where two months ago surgeons also drained fluid from the youngster’s head in a life-saving operation.

Roona was born with hydrocephalus, a condition that causes cerebrospinal fluid to build up on the brain.

Her condition had caused her head to swell to a circumference of 94 cm, putting pressure on her brain and making it impossible for her to sit upright or crawl.

Roona’s head had shrunk to about 60 cm after procedures conducted in May, and doctors expect it to shrink further after the new operation.

During the surgery at the hospital run by the private Fortis Healthcare group, neurosurgeon Sandeep Vaishya and two other surgeons sliced through the baby’s scalp in an attempt to bring her bones closer and compress her head.

Roona lives in an Indian village with her parents, who were too poor to pay for treatment. But publication of pictures in the remote northeastern state of Tripura prompted the hospital to offer to treat Roona for free. The pictures of Roona also triggered a global outpouring of support.