2.5-kilogram parasite with hair and teeth found inside teenager’s stomach
INDIA. 18-year-old Narendra Kumar from Allahabad had been struggling with chronic stomach pains and unexplained weight loss since he was young. His family did not have any idea what was causing his illness, until a CT scan and an ultrasound revealed an abnormal growth inside his abdomen.
On January 4, Kumar underwent surgery to remove the lump. Much to the doctors’ surprise and Kumar’s shock, it was a 2.5-kg mass of bone, hair, and teeth that had been feeding inside of him since birth. The parasite had developed to the extent that it already had formed an umbilical cord-like structure that was draining the patient’s blood supply.
According to Dr. Rajeev Singh of Swaroop Narayan Hospital, the condition is called “foetus in fetu,” a very rare condition wherein one fetus enters its twin through the umbilical cord. It then becomes a parasite that survives through its siblings body.
“The boy’s stomach grew, but his plight went undiscovered for years because neither his parents were aware of his medical condition nor the doctors could diagnose the condition at an early stage,” said Dr. Singh.
After a three-hour operation, a “mass of malformed baby having hair, teeth, a poorly developed head, a bony structure of chest and spine with lots of yellowish amniotic-like fluid in the sac” was removed from the patient’s body.
Prem Chandra, Kumar’s father, said it was a relief that his son was finally well, adding that the teen’s condition has been tormenting him for years. “Now that it has been removed, I am relieved. He can now go back to school and lead a healthy life.”
Foetus in fetu affects only one in five live births. In the 200 reported cases worldwide, almost 80 percent of them were found in the abdomen, although there have been reports of the malformed fetus occuring in the skull.
Featured image via Sanjay Pandey/The Daily Mail