‘Pregnant’ baby in Thane born with twin brother feeding off his body

The baby’s twin, weighing 150 gms and complete with a brain, arms and limbs, was found behind the baby’s stomach.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2017 12:32 IST
Samiksha Pattanaik
Samiksha Pattanaik
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
‘pregnant’,Baby in Thane,twin brother
The baby, born to a 19-year-old woman, had a 7 cms foetus growing inside him.(Photo credit: Neena Nichlani)

In a bizarre medical condition, a newborn baby in Thane was found to be ‘pregnant’ with his half-formed twin brother feeding off his blood supply. The condition, called fetus in fetu, is so rare that only about 100-200 such cases have been reported from all over the world till date.

The boy was born to a 19-year old woman from Mumbra on July 20 at Bilal Hospital in Thane, near Mumbai.

The 7cm foetus, weighing 150 gm and complete with a brain, arms and limbs, was found behind the baby’s stomach. A radiologist first spotted the abnormal mass during a routine scan of the pregnant mother.

“In post-natal scans, we spotted another half-formed baby with a brain, arm and legs in a foetal sac in the baby’s abdomen,” radiologist Bhavna Thorat told German news agency DPA.

After the baby was born, another scan found that the ‘twin’ was feeding off his nutrition and posed a life threat.

Doctors referred him to the Titan hospital in Thane, where the parasitic foetus was successfully removed by a specialist team of experts. It is suspected to be a rare congenital anomaly called ‘fetus in fetu’ in which a malformed foetus gets absorbed into the body of it’s twin.

The team that performed the surgery at Titan Hospital, Thane. Photo Credit: Neena Nichlani

Gynecologist Dr Neena Nichlani, who was part of the team that operated on the baby, said, “It is a case of monozygotic twin pregnancy sharing single placenta, where one foetus is wrapped around the other and feeds off its host’s body.”

As both the twins draw nutrients from a single umbilical chord, the chances of survival are usually low in such cases.

“It is a very rare condition and this is for the first time I have encountered such a case in my entire medical career... Both the baby and the mother are doing well,” she added.

First Published: Aug 02, 2017 19:10 IST