If Shiloh had the surgery today, Dr. Hand says it would be purely cosmetic. "Because of the fusion of those legs, to try to get them to open and be functional, it would be very unlikely that we would be able to have her walk," he says. "We've been down this road a million times in terms of what we could potentially do for [Shiloh], but even with prosthetics it would be extremely hard to do, and it would take us about two years' worth of surgery to get there."
Dr. Hand says the surgery would also create concerns regarding possible kidney failure. "[Shiloh's] the only girl with Mermaid Syndrome who has ever had a kidney transplant," he says. The kidney complications that could arise during surgery make it too difficult an option to pursue.