A baby girl in Mexico shocked doctors when she was born via cesarean with a tail that measured five inches long and was “covered in hair and skin. The newborn girl had her tail surgically removed, and doctors believe the condition, known as a “true tail,” to be extremely rare.
The baby was delivered by C-section in a small, out-of-the-way hospital in northeastern Mexico.
There was “no history of radiation exposure or infections during pregnancy,” and the child was born to “two healthy parents” in their late twenties, per a case study entry in the Journal of Paediatric Surgery. The length of the appendage was 5.7 centimeters; its diameter was 3mm to 5mm along its entire length, and was cylindrical and pointed at the tip.
The doctors observed hair and skin covering the appendage and heard the baby cry when the appendage was pinched.
The radiologist then ordered a Lumbosacral X-ray to better examine the lower back, but the scan revealed no abnormalities or underlying bone structures within the tail.
This means that the tail was not a functionless tail like an appendix, which has lost its function in the body over time, but a “true tail” – a benign structure made up of connective tissue, muscle, and nerves.
The medical professionals tested for a variety of medical issues and discovered none. The child’s MRI scan revealed no brain abnormalities and no spine abnormalities.
When the baby girl was two months old, she was re-evaluated by the pediatrics and general surgery team after doctors ruled out spinal issues. The tail structure had grown 0.8 cm in length by the time the doctors were satisfied that there had been adequate weight gain and growth for age.
Doctors determined that the tail should be removed and the area rebuilt.
With no evidence of skin lesions, it was decided to remove the tail and reconstruct the area using Limberg plasty, which involves making a diamond-shaped incision (cut) to remove the affected skin and underlying tissue.
The child was then released, and no further complications have been reported.
According to the publication: “Humans with tails are extremely uncommon. There were only 195 cases of human tails identified until 2017 in the most recent review by Tojima and Yamada in 2020, which collected case reports in English, French, Japanese, Italian, and German.”
This is not, however, the first time a child has been born with a tail.
Humans can have a “tail” while in the womb, but it is usually reabsorbed before birth, according to the study.
However, in some extremely rare cases, the tail continues to grow.
Only after an ultrasound scan did doctors confirm that the tail was not attached to the animal’s nervous system, allowing it to be surgically removed. Doctors discovered the ball was made of fat and embryonic connective tissue after it was removed. The tail itself was nothing more than boneless tissue.