The 7-month-old youngster exhibited a 10-centimeter “tail” and stammered, defying national

Xiao Wei, a baby boy born with spina bifida, a neural tube defect, has been making headlines due to the “tail” formed by his condition. Spina bifida is characterized by an incomplete closure of the spine, leaving the spinal cord exposed or forming a protrusion. The spinal cord is crucial as it connects various parts of the body with the brain. Although the exact cause of spina bifida is unknown, a deficiency in folic acid before and during pregnancy is believed to be a contributing factor.

Ms. Chen Wei, Xiao’s mother from Guangdong, China, expressed her concerns and wishes for the “tail” to be removed. She shared that she had repeatedly requested surgery from the hospital, but the medical experts advised against it at this time due to the complexity of the procedure.

“It’s not simple,” Ms. Chen quoted the hospital’s response when she asked about the surgery. Spina bifida can occur independently of family history, with 95% of affected babies being born into families with no prior cases of the disorder. The condition can be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.

Xiao Wei has the most severe form of spina bifida, known as myelomeningocele, where part of the spinal cord protrudes through an opening in the spine, forming a hernia. This severe type can leave tissue and nerves exposed, making them highly susceptible to fatal infections. In some instances, these protrusions can be covered with skin, while in others, they are left exposed.

Surgery is often seen as a temporary solution to manage the defect, but it comes with significant risks. Potential consequences include paralysis and incontinence. Surgeon Huang Chuanping, who is overseeing Xiao’s condition, noted that while Xiao is growing well, the 10cm “tail” presents a challenge. He explained that simply cutting the tail would result in its regrowth. Instead, long-term spinal canal intervention is necessary to prevent the recurrence of the condition.

Dr. Huang emphasized the importance of a careful and measured approach, indicating that while there are measures to manage the condition, immediate removal is not advisable. The focus remains on ensuring Xiao’s overall well-being and monitoring his development closely.

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