It’s something very rare but it can happen. A seven-month pregnant Colombian woman discovered during an ultrasound that her 37-week-old baby was harboring another undeveloped fetus inside, according to the Colombian network Caracol.
The woman was given birth, and once the little Itzamara was born, she underwent an operation to remove her fetus, which belonged to her twin brother.
This rare alteration in embryonic development is called ‘fetus in fetu’ or ‘parasitic twin’. It is a phenomenon that occurs when the cells that will conform to the twin brothers do not divide at the right time and the two embryos grow asymmetrically.
“Two babies were formed”, but the fetus that the small newborn had had had neither brain nor heart”, assures the surgeon Miguel Parro, who was in charge of carrying out the operation to Itzamara, who is currently recovering at home.
A VERY RARE PHENOMENON
Fetus in fetu’ is a very rare developmental disorder. It is estimated to occur in about one in every 500,000 live births and, although rare, is a well-known problem for the medical community. In fact, one of the first descriptions of the phenomenon in scientific literature dates back to 1808.
In some cases, its presence is not discovered until well into development, when this foreign tissue, which resembles a tumor, begins to give some kind of problem. It can be located in different anatomical spaces, although in most of the cases described it was located in the abdomen.
It can put the person’s life at risk, which is why surgical removal is indicated.