A 3.5 kilograms foetus has been removed from the stomach of a 15-month-old child in Tamil Nadu. In a rare medical condition, the toddler was carrying the foetus in her stomach since birth. It was feeding off her blood supply and nutrition, while also suppressing her organs.
Her condition was caught after her parents suspected tumour and rushed her to the hospital. The child had been crying for three weeks, and was unable to eat and drink.
Initially, doctors at a private hospital in Mettupalayam also suspected a large cyst, but further check-ups and ultrasounds revealed it to be a case of ‘foetus-in-fetu’, a condition so rare that only 200 cases have been reported worldwide.
The child was born with a larger-than-normal stomach, but the parents ignored it. It was only after they noticed that their child was experiencing breathing issues and problems while eating food, along with the stomach of the girl growing to an abnormally large size that they decided to consult a private doctor.
As per media reports, Dr Vijayagiri, who performed surgery to remove the foetus said, "I too believed that it was a cyst or tumour till the ultrasound and scan showed that there were bony areas, calcified region and a teratoma-like structure (a tumour containing tissues and organs). That was when I suspected that it was a fetus-in-fetu and quickly looked up some literature."
"However, it was only when I removed the structure, could I confirm that it was a fetus. Though it has some bones, a pathology study is what can reveal the organs formed so far," he said.
The foetus was removed after a two-hour long surgery, which was very complex as foetus had latched on to several internal organs of the little child.
The girl weighed 8kg before the removal of the 3.5kg fetus and is now in a stable condition and recovering well.