Doctors in India have given a new lease of life to a newborn girl after removing the head of her parasitic twin that was feeding off on her blood supply.
The bay girl, yet to be named, was born via caeserean section and weighed only 5 pounds, at a private hospital in Bhilwada in Rajasthan in northern India on April 26th to a farmer couple.
But the medics were shocked to see the baby with an extra head complete with eyes, ears, nose and lips and a malformed left hand hanging down her chest.
The doctors referred the child for a surgery at JK Lone Hospital in Jaipur, 336 miles away, where a team of doctors detached the head from the infant in a four-hour-long surgery.
“This is one of the rarest cases of parasitic twin.
“The baby was brought to our hospital on the night of April 26th. After immediate consultation with a team of radiologist and support from assistant professors, we successfully removed the head from the viable child.
“It was a complicated case as the twins shared blood vessels. They were joint from the thorax and shared common vessels for blood supply from heart and liver,” said Dr Pravin Mathur, Professor and Unit Head, Paediatric Surgery.
Surprisingly, the parents had an ultrasound and knew they were carrying twins but were oblivion of carrying parasitic twins.
The young couple, who refused to be identified, was devastated with the birth of their first child and had lost all hopes of her survival.
Dr Mathur said: “The parents told us the mother had undergone sonography and other tests but were not told about carrying an underdeveloped twin.
They were shattered when they saw the baby. We had to convince them to give us a nod for the surgery to save their daughter’s life.
“The baby had chances of catching septicemia. We immediately conducted CT Scans, blood tests and X-rays and operated on the child,” the doctor added.
The hospital did not charge the family for any health or surgery costs.
The baby is recovering well and is being breastfed. The doctors are contemplating echocardiography and hoping to discharge her in two days.
Hetropagus twinning or commonly known as Parasitic twinning occurs when a twin embryo begins developing in the utero but the pair doesn’t fully separate and one embryo maintains a dominant development at the expense of the other.