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August 1, 2009

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Operation brings end to boy's 8-year torment

AN eight-year-old boy born with a rare defect in which his bladder stuck out of his abdominal wall was operated on yesterday.

Doctors from Fudan University's Children's Hospital said the six-hour surgery to put the bladder back to its proper position was a success and would allow Zhang Mingyang to develop normal urinary control and wear trousers for the first time.

The abnormality had left Zhang, a Shandong Province native, unable to control his bladder or bowels. He suffered recurring infections and found it too painful to wear trousers or sit down.

Bladder exstrophy is a rare disease which happens in one in every 10,000 to 50,000 births on China's mainland.

It occurs when the abdominal wall fails to close during fetal development.

"Such patients need to have surgery soon after delivery and the earlier the surgery the better the result," said Dr Ruan Shuangsui, director of the hospital's urology department and one of Zhang's chief surgeons. "This surgery was very complicated as his condition had worsened over the years."

His farmer family couldn't afford the treatment Zhang needed and it wasn't until late June that he was finally taken to hospital after 90,000 yuan (US$13,172) had been donated by people in Yantai, Shandong Province.

A local reporter had written a story after he found Zhang and his father begging in the street, trying to raise money for medical expenses.

"We are confident that he can not only wear his trousers but also walk and live a normal life," Ruan said.


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