• Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019
  • Last Update : 11:19 am

Country’s first baby born with a tail

  • Published at 08:26 pm June 13th, 2019
web-human tail x-ray
X-ray report of the visible human tail on the 14-days old baby girl Dhaka Tribune

BSMMU surgeon removes it successfully

A baby girl was born with a 16-centimeter visible human tail in Noakhali on May 30.  The case is the first of its kind in Bangladesh, doctors said.  

Pediatric surgeon DrNazrul Islam Akash, of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), has successfully removed the 16-centimeter long tail like projection on the 14-days old baby girl, through surgery at the Al-Karim General Hospital in Dhaka on Thursday.

The baby girl is the second child of her parents. Her father is an expatriate of Saudi Arabia, and mother a housewife from Noakhali district.

Dr NazrulAkash said: "This case is not as critical as it is rare. The tail was without nerve, bone, and was not connected to the spinal cord.”

“Human tails are of two kinds: pseudo tail and true tail. It was a true tail, like appendages (extension of skin like a nail). It is not harmful to the body,” DrNazrul added.

He further said: “I have removed it today (Thursday) successfully by surgery after an x-ray, and required tests.”

No other case like this has been found so far in Bangladesh, but 35-40 such cases have so far been found across the world. The longest known tail is 13 inches long and belongs to a man in India, according to babymed.com.

Tale of human Tail

In the article published by babymed.com, Dr. Amos Grunebaum, MD said: All humans are created with a small tail that is later absorbed by the body and developed into the tailbone. In some rare cases, a small tissue is left hanging on the tailbone area of the body. Most often, the small piece of skin contains no bones but does contain nerves and blood vessels. 

What’s vestigial tail?

According to Karen Gill, MD, specialty in pediatrics, when a vestigial tail doesn’t fuse with the coccyx and remains after birth, what’s left is skin that contains no bones. Although the tail lacks bones, it does contain nerves, blood, adipose tissue, connective tissue, and muscles.

What causes a vestigial tail?

While tails are very rare in humans, temporary tail-like structures are found in the human embryo. These tails develop around the fifth or sixth week of gestation, and contain about 10 to 12 vertebrae.

Most people aren’t born with a tail because the structure disappears or absorbs into the body during fetal development, forming the tailbone or coccyx. It disappears around the eighth week of gestation.

Sometimes, the tail remains due to a defect during the developmental stage. In the case of a ‘true’ vestigial tail, the exact cause of this defect is unknown.

Any risk?

There are no known risk factors for a vestigial tail. Male children are twice as likely to be born with a vestigial tail than female children.