Free Press Journal

Mumbai: Doctors operate on foetus carrying twin, save baby’s life

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Mumbai: An extremely rare case was operated upon by the doctors at Bilal Hospital, where a baby inside the mother carried a partially developed twin inside his stomach, which is known as ‘Foetus-in-foetu.’ The doctors said the deformed conjoined twins were operated by reproducible surgical techniques. Till now only 100 such cases have been reported in the world.

On July 20, the mother gave birth to a baby at the Bilal Hospital following which doctors advised them to conduct an ultrasound. After the scan doctors found a partially formed foetus inside him which was consuming nutrition. “He was been shifted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) because the baby developed respiratory problems and his stomach also started swelling,” said Dr Bhavna Thorat, consulting radiologist at Bilal Hospital in Mumbra.

She further added that on July 11, when the mother had come for the last scan, she was shocked to see another foetus inside the baby’s stomach. “The image provided during the scan showed only the formation of bones and did not show a clear image of unidentified mass. We advised the family to get an ultrasound of the baby immediately after birth,” said Dr Thorat. Just after birth, the baby was operated upon on July 21 and the foetus was removed. The doctors found a hardened mass inside the foetus’ stomach when the boy’s mother visited the private hospital in Mumbra for a routine ultrasound test.


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“We had identified a partially formed foetus inside the stomach of the foetus. Usually, women undergo two to three ultrasounds during her pregnancy but this patient had undergone only two,” added a senior doctor. The baby was transferred to Titan Hospital in Thane, where a surgery was performed. “The hands, the brain and the legs of the foetus had formed. It weighed about 400 gm. The baby is now stable and his health problems have been resolved,” said Dr. Thorat. Dr Anand, head gynaecologist of Sir JJ hospital, said, “It is a very unusual case and is a congenital defect. The only way to remove the deformed conjoined twin is by reproducible surgical technique. The reason for such cases are still not known and it affects one in five lakh live births.”