City docs discover foetus inside justborn baby's abdomen

City docs discover foetus inside justborn baby's abdomen
In a rare case, a just born male was found to have a foetus inside its own body. Medically known as a ‘Foetus in Fetu’, a mysterious condition, the occurrence of this is less than one in five lakh births according to Director of Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health Dr Asha Benakappa.

The child, which was born to Kolar resident Shiba, was refered to Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICH) in Bengaluru for immediate intervention. On December 28, a team of surgeons, anesthetists and intensivists from the hospital performed a supra-major surgery.

The child weighed 3.8 kilos at birth. A CT Scan at the Hospital confirmed the presence of bony elements with four limbs and a spine. The doctors identified it to be a case of ‘Foetus in Fetu’.
Following a four-hour surgery, the foetus which weighed close to one kilo was removed from the child’s abdominal region. Having a mass so huge, the child had begun developing circulatory and respiratory problems.

Dr S Ramesh, HoD, Pediatric Surgery, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, told Deccan Herald that following the surgery, the child had to be put on ventilator and the child is stable now. The challenges involved, he said, were plenty. “A child weighing three kilos would have about 240 ml of blood. The maximum permissible blood loss is only 1/10th of that. The mass was right behind the retroperitoneal space. These were just a few challenges involved,” he said.

What’s ‘Foetus in Fetu’
Even as such cases have come to light in the past, the condition remains mysterious. Even as there are several theories on the possibility of this phenomenon, the actual cause remains unknown.

Dr Ramesh explained that there are speculations that a fetus could be found within another child when a mass of cells that develop after formation of the Zygote divide inappropriately. (In case of normal formation, twins would be born).

He added that in such occurrences, for the mass of flesh to be called a case of ‘Foetus in Fetu’, the spine and limb formation must have happened. In this case, both are evident.
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