3.5kg fetus removed from one-year-old girl in Tamil Nadu

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Old 08-Aug-2016
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3.5kg fetus removed from one-year-old girl in Tamil Nadu

A rare case of fetus-in-fetu was detected in a one-year-old child in Tamil Nadu. The child had a malformed 3.5kg fetus inside her stomach, which was feeding off her blood supply and nutrition and suppressing her organs. The fetus was removed from the child's abdomen through a surgery at a private hospital in Mettupalayam on Saturday evening.
According to doctors at Sri Ganapathy Krishna Hospital, Nisha was born to daily wage labourers Raju and Sumathi at a primary health centre in Gobi, Erode. Though the child always had a slightly larger than normal stomach, the parents had ignored it, said pediatric and laparoscopic surgeon Dr D Vijayagiri.
"They might not have gone for their scans regularly or towards the end. So doctors may have missed it," he said. "It was only after the child began having issues breathing and having food and the stomach had grown to a noticeably abnormal size did they go to a private doctor in Erode," he added.

The doctor referred the child to Dr Vijayagiri on Thursday evening, believing it was a large cyst in the baby's abdomen. "I too believed that it was a cyst or tumour till the ultrasound and scan showed that there were bony areas, calcified region and a teratoma-like structure (a tumour containing tissues and organs). That was when I suspected that it was a fetus-in-fetu and quickly looked up some literature," said Dr Vijayagiri, who performed the surgery.
"However, it was only when I removed the structure, could I confirm that it was a fetus. Though it has some bones, a pathology study is what can reveal the organs formed so far," he said.

The fetus removal was complicated because the baby's left kidney was completely attached to the tumour. Other organs like the pancreas, a portion of the spleen and left side of the colon were attached to the fetus and the blood vessels were splayed around the structure. "So we had to remove and detach the blood vessels and move the organs away from the fetus without injuring them. Once the fetus was removed, we manually placed all the organs in the places where they should have originally been," said the doctor.
The girl weighed 8kg before the removal of the 3.5kg fetus. She is recovering well.

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