An 18-year-old lad from India had secretly lived with a 7-inch tail on his back all his life until finally allowing doctors to chop it off.

The fleshy appendage, located right above the boy’s buttocks, is believed to be the longest ever reported, according to News.

The boy, who remained unidentified for privacy reasons, walked into a government hospital in his hometown Nagpur in Maharashtra, western India, last month, after claiming that the pain in his tail had become unbearable.Doctors successfully removed the vestigial growth and said it most likely developed while he was in the womb, adding it should have disappeared naturally over time.

The neurodevelopment abnormality, however, continued to grow while his spine was growing—which explained its increase in length as he grew older.His parents were reportedly well aware of their son’s condition, but they concealed it believing it to be a good luck charm for the boy.

They managed to hide their son’s condition for 18 years, for fear of social stigma and also because it was not creating any health issue for him until recently.

All babies inside a mother’s womb possess a vestigial tail, but it normally disappears after six weeks and develops to become the spine in the nervous system.

In rare cases, some children are born with one, which also grows as they age, but there have only been 23 incidents reported worldwide.

The doctor who operated on the boy, meanwhile, described how the delicate procedure went down.“The surgery is not complex but as it involves some part of the spinal cord we had to be cautious,” he said in the report. “Fortunately, there was no bone or muscular tissue in his tail, so removing it was not very difficult.”

The delighted surgeon also noticed quite a difference with his patient after the procedure.

“He is very happy. He is now very comfortable while sleeping and sitting. He says he feels more confident about himself now,” he said.

The boy is reportedly set to be discharged later this week. Khristian Ibarrola