Indian baby operated upon to get rid of a 'second head'

An eight-month-old Indian baby with a "second head" has undergone successful surgery to remove it.

According to a report by MedicalDaily.com, the second "head" was a parasitic "twin" that weighed almost a kilo attached to his head.

The large growth was reportedly the result of a rare disease called encephalomeningocele. Encephalomeningocele is a medical condition where a congenital gap in the skull results in a protrusion of brain material.

According to BioMedCentral.com, it is a form of neural tube defect which affects patients in Southeast Asia more commonly than in Western countries.

The medical condition affects approximately one in 40,000 to 45,000 newborns.

Health Indian reported that the protrusion was removed in a painstaking five-hour operation.

"Tofajjal was born with a rare deformity - there was a second head maturing on top of his head. I have never operated on such a big lesion. It was a very critical operation and slightest slip-up during the vital surgery might have ended the life of the baby," The Daily Mail UK quoted neuro-surgeon Sisir Das, from Kolkata's Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, as saying.

"The surgery was challenging because it involved the brain and the superior sagital sinus. This surgery is a milestone in healthcare in this part of India," he added.

The newspaper reported that the baby's father had all but given up hope that his son's condition could be treated. He said that he had been told by most doctors that he consulted that the child could not be cured.

"[No-one] said that my child would live. But with the blessings of Allah, I am taking him back home," said Sabia Khatun, the baby's mother.

Doctors say Tofajjal has already shown signs of a speedy recovery. The Times of India reported that he will be able to go back home to his happy parents in a day or two, where it is hoped he will be able to lead a relatively normal life.