A 7-month-old baby’s “tail” is 10 cm long, in contrast to national norms.pink

Xiao Wei, a baby boy born with spina bifida, faces significant health challenges due to this neural tube defect. Spina bifida is characterized by incomplete closure of the spine, which can result in part of the spinal cord and nerves being exposed or protruding outside the body. Xiao has the most severe form of spina bifida, known as myelomeningocele, where the spinal cord itself extends into a sac outside the back.

The exact cause of spina bifida is not fully understood, but it is linked to a combination of genetic and environmental factors, including a lack of folic acid in the mother’s diet before and during early pregnancy. Despite extensive research, 95% of babies with this condition are born to families with no prior history of the disorder.

Xiao’s condition presents unique challenges. His mother, Ms. Chen Wei from Guangdong, China, has requested surgery to remove a protruding “tail” resulting from his condition. However, medical experts have advised against immediate surgery due to the complexity of the situation. According to Surgeon Huang Chuanping, although Xiao is developing well, any surgical intervention on the tail could lead to its regrowth and might not address the underlying issues.

Treatment for spina bifida often involves surgery to correct the spinal defect and prevent further complications. However, surgery carries risks, including potential damage to the nervous system, which can result in paralysis, incontinence, and other severe consequences. In Xiao’s case, the medical team is considering long-term measures to manage his condition and prevent recurrence, indicating the need for ongoing medical care and monitoring.

Spina bifida affects approximately 1 in every 1,000 children in the UK, underscoring the importance of research and preventive measures, such as adequate folic acid intake for women of childbearing age.

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