AP
Lakshmi, second from left, sits in her mother Poonam's lap as she poses next to her father Shambhu and brother Mithilesh, right, at the Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore, India, on Nov. 5. Doctors began operating  Nov. 6 on the two-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs.
updated 11/8/2007 9:51:20 AM ET 2007-11-08T14:51:20

A 2-year-old girl who was born with four arms and four legs showed the first signs of movement Thursday following a marathon operation to remove the extra limbs, doctors said.

The girl, Lakshmi, was being kept sedated in the intensive care unit at a hospital in the southern Indian city of Bangalore during what doctors said was a critical 72-hour period following the operation.

“Lakshmi has moved her toes and hands for the first time and opened her eyes briefly,” Dr. Sharan Patil, the head surgeon, told reporters.

“She is progressing in the right direction,” he said.

Patil said doctors were slowly reducing the amount of sedatives, but she was still breathing on a respirator.

Doctors were still cautious, however. Video: 8-limbed girl undergoes surgery

“She is a 2-year-old girl who has undergone massive surgery, we have to watch and wait,” said Dr. Mamatha Patil, a Sparsh Hospital spokeswoman.

Lakshmi, who has been revered by some in her village as a reincarnation of the four-armed Hindu goddess she was named for, was born joined at the pelvis to a “parasitic twin” that stopped developing in her mother’s womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped fetus.

On Wednesday, a team of more than 30 surgeons conducted the operation — which lasted more than 24 hours — removing the extra limbs, transplanting a kidney from the twin and reconstructing her pelvic area in the hope she would be able to lead a normal life.

Lakshmi will need further treatments and possible surgery for clubbed feet before she will be able to walk, Sharan Patil said.

Her father, Shambhu, who only goes by one name, had told reporters that her family had been worried for her future before the operation and he was looking forward to seeing her with “a normal body.”

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