Unique anatomy

Ashok Shivnani, a 64 year old Indian man living in Mumbai, is thought by doctors to be unique in the world. In hospital for the removal of a tumour on his kidney, doctors discovered that his internal organs and many of his blood vessels are on the wrong side of his body.

His chest and abdominal organs are a mirror image of what they should be and, in addition, Ashok Shivnani has two livers and no small intestine.

The condition is known as ‘situs inversus’ and it made it very difficult for the surgeons performing the operation. Normally, a surgeon knows the exact location of everything he is going to touch and where all the relevant connections, such as blood vessels, go to and come from. But not in this case and he had to learn as he went along.

One of the biggest surprises was that Ashok Shivnani had been treated for two hernias and examined for chronic lung disease in the past yet no-one had noticed his unique anatomy.