Schaumburg, Ill, April 4, 2017 — Members of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) were integral in performing a successful and complex surgery on a baby from West Africa born with four legs and two spines at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois.
Now 10 months old, Dominique was born with a parasitic rachipagus twin. The waist, legs, and feet of her not-fully-developed twin’s body extended from Dominique’s neck and back, while also being conjoined at the spine. Without surgical intervention, Dominique’s internal organs would need to function for two bodies, shortening her lifespan.
Children’s Medical Mission West, an Ohio-based organization providing charity across the globe, contacted Dr. John Ruge, CNS member and pediatric neurosurgeon at Advocate Children’s Hospital, for his expertise in this particular subspecialty of neurological surgery.
“The fact that the twins were conjoined at the spine makes Dominique’s condition exceedingly unique and rare,” Ruge said.
A multidisciplinary team of five surgeons created a model of Dominique’s two spines and worked together to create the most promising and effective approach. This team also included pediatric neurosurgeon and CNS member Dr. Robert Givens Kellogg, and additional spine and plastic surgeons. They sought consultations and guidance from a vast array of specialists, including pediatricians, radiologists, anesthesiologists, and more, to create a comprehensive plan of action.
On March 8, Dominique entered surgery and within six hours, the team removed the conjoined twin. She was discharged from the hospital just five days later with an excellent prognosis.
For more information about CNS, its members, and the impact of their care, visit www.cns.org. For more information about Dominique and Advocate Children’s Hospital, visit www.advocatechildrenshospital.com.