Story at a glance:
- A fetus in fetu occurs once in every 500,000 births.
- Top experts performed an operation to remove two sacs out of the girl’s stomach.
- The baby girl survived and is expected to make a full recovery
A newborn baby shocked doctors after an X-ray revealed she carried a twin fetus inside her stomach.
The case, known as a fetus in fetu, occurs once in every 500,000 births, according to The Times of Israel.
Doctors first noticed the baby girl had an enlarged stomach when they performed a late-stage ultrasound on the mother, The New York Post reports.
When the baby was born, doctors performed an X-ray and other tests, discovering that she harbored a partially developed embryo with some bones and a heart.
“We were surprised to discover that it was an embryo,” Omer Globus, director of neonatology at Assuta, told the Times of Israel.
Top experts performed an operation to remove two sacs out of the girl’s stomach.
“We think that there was more than one there, and we are still checking that,” he said.
The baby girl survived and is expected to make a full recovery, Globus said.
The girl is already living at home with her mother and three other siblings.
As to how this could have happened, Globus says rare occurrences such as these start off as twins but then one of the embryos is absorbed by the other.
“It happens as part of the fetal development process when there are cavities that close during development and one of the embryos enters such a space,” he said. “The fetus inside partially develops but does not live and remains there.”
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