Doctors performed surgery in an odd and tragic situation in India recently when they discovered a baby boy’s dead twin was inside his body, the Daily Mail reports.
The condition, known as fetus in fetu, is extremely rare; it involves one twin’s body being trapped inside the other twin’s. In 2006, ABC News reported there were only about 90 known cases world-wide. The Mail reports the known cases now are about 200.
In the most recent case, doctors in India said they noticed a lump in the 14-day-old baby boy’s abdomen, according to the report. Thinking it was a tumor, they performed surgery to remove it.
Lead surgeon Dr Venkatesh Annigeri told the Mail: “There was a tumour-like structure inside the baby’s abdomen but soon we realised that it was the baby’s ill-fated twin that had failed to successfully separate and grow. It was a low birth weight baby, very minute structures, anaesthesia complications, and the foetus was adherent to vital structures of the baby.”
Doctors said the dead twin’s body was partially blocking the living twin’s urinary tract. They said the baby boy is recovering and expected to go home soon.
Medical experts are not sure what causes the rare abnormality. The World Health Organization classifies the disorder as a variation of the tumorous cancer mature teratoma, according to the report.