A baby with an abnormally large head has had a lifesaving operation to reduce its size by close to 30cm.
Mrityunjay had been dubbed the ‘ghost baby’ and called ‘giant head’ after his head swelled to 96cm due to a condition called hydrocephalus that results in excess fluid build up on the brain.
However a procedure to drain 3.7 litres of fluid from his skull has seen the size shrink to 70cm in the space of a month and a half.
The baby, from Ranpur State, India, is now set to have cranoplasty to reshape his deformed skull.
Dr Dilip Parida, superintendent of the AIIMS hospital at Bhuwaneshwar, said: ‘The child was admitted on November 20 with the head containing almost 5.5 liters of fluid.
‘We have removed 3.7 liters of fluid so far by external ventricular drainage.
‘Now, the circumference of the head has come down from 96cm to 70cm. The cognitive functions of the child have improved a lot, he is stable and has responded well to the treatment.’
Mrityunjay’s parents’ Kamalesh Das and Kavita say their family have been shunned in their local community due to their son’s deformity.
Kamalesh, 35, who works in Kolkata, said: ‘People would call our baby a ‘ghost’ because of his unusual appearance.
‘As his head reduces to a normal size, the attitude of our neighbours and villagers will change.
Mrityunjay's parents and doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
‘They will stop calling him derogatory names like ‘barka matha’ (giant head) or ‘ghost baby’.
‘Now, I am sure that he will be able to lead a normal life. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the doctors.’
The treatment would have cost around £6,000 but the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), India’s premiere hospital where the state provides free treatment to patients is covering costs.
Mrityunjay isn’t the only baby to suffer the condition. Medical records claim Roona Begum, from Tripura in India, head swelled to 94cm.