A baby girl in India is expected to survive having been born with a parasitic twin, which was “feeding off” her blood supply.
Born via C-section at Ram Snehi Hospital in northern India last month, the newborn had an extra head and a malformed hand growing out of her stomach. The head had a defined face, although it was not developed enough to be a viable person.
It took a team of surgeons to remove the parasitic twin in a four-hour long operation at JK Lone Hospital in Jaipur.
“This is one of the rarest cases of a parasitic twin. It was a complicated case as the twins shared blood vessels,” according to Dr. Pravin Mathur, head of pediatric surgery at the hospital. “They were joined from the thorax and shared common vessels for blood supply from heart and liver.”
The baby’s parents were told to expect twins during a routine ultrasound, but they never expected one of the babies to be parasitic. Not knowing if their daughter would survive the grueling surgery, they declined to be identified.
“They were shattered when they saw the baby,” recalled Mathur. “We had to convince them to give us a nod for the surgery to save their daughter’s life. The baby had chances of catching septicaemia.”
A variety of tests were immediately performed on the child so that doctors could get a good indication of what they were up against. It was reported that the doctors and the hospital did not charge the family anything for the cost of the surgery, and the baby is now doing well in recovery.
A parasitic twin is a rare occurrence that takes place when twin embryos do not split properly in the womb.
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