Fetus-in-fetu: Rare medical condition makes man ‘pregnant’ with his twin inside him for 36 years
“Fetus in fetu” is a rare medical condition where an abnormal fetus is discovered inside the body of its twin.
A man from Maharashtra's Nagpur was nicknamed “pregnant man” due to his protruding belly, which turned out to be a rare condition of him being pregnant with his twin for over 36 years.
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According to a report from the Daily Star, Sanju Bhagat was diagnosed with a medical condition called “fetus in fetu”, commonly known as “vanishing twin syndrome”. This condition occurs when one twin dies during pregnancy and is reabsorbed. It is a very rare condition, estimated to occur in just one in every 500,000 live births, where one twin is born inside the other.
How did this develop?
When Bhagat was young, his belly appeared abnormally bulged unlike other kids, which was ignored. However, in his 20s, while working on the farm, his belly started growing at an alarming rate. Despite struggling to make ends meet, Bhagat continued working and endured teasing from his peers, as well as concerns from his family.
In 1999, the condition took a serious turn when the bulge began pressing against his diaphragm, making it difficult for him to breathe. He was finally rushed to a hospital in Mumbai.
What did doctors find?
At first glance, the doctor who examined Bhagat presumed the condition to be a tumor and proceeded to perform a stomach surgery, believing it to be a large cancer. However, during the operation, the doctor made a startling discovery: a human being was inside.
"He just inserted his hand and mentioned that there were numerous bones inside," recounted a doctor, as quoted by History Defined and reported by the newspaper.
"First, one limb came out, then another limb came out. Then, parts of the genitalia, hair, limbs, jaws, and hair. We were horrified. We were bewildered and amazed... To my surprise and horror, I could shake hands with someone inside. It was quite shocking for me," the doctor further said.
‘Fetus in fetu’ condition explained
According to National Library of Medicine, “Fetus in fetu” is a rare medical condition where an abnormal fetus is discovered inside the body of its twin. It happens when one twin engulfs and absorbs the other twin during their early development. The absorbed twin then grows as an unusual mass or tumor-like structure inside the body of the surviving twin. Surgical removal is typically needed to treat this condition.