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Parasitic Twin: Indian Baby Born With Another Head on Its Stomach Undergoes Complex Surgery [Warning, Graphic Content]

May 05, 2017 08:48 AM EDT
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Parasitic Twin
The extra head was complete with eyes, ears, nose and lips and a malformed left hand hanging down her chest.
(Photo : Cater News Agency via Yt English/YouTube)

A baby born with a parasitic twin in India had undergone a complex operation and is currently recovering.

The baby, yet to be named, was born via Caesarian section on April 26 in Bhilwara, Rajasthan in northern India. After the baby was born, her family was devastated to see her with two heads. The hospital immediately referred them to JK Lone Hospital in Jaipur to examine the baby further.

According to New Zealand Herald, Dr. Pravin Marthur of the hospital's pediatric unit, said, "This is one of the rarest cases of parasitic twin. 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," Marthur added.

The parasitic twin grew on the baby's stomach, and it was "feeding off" her blood supply. Metro UK said the extra head was complete with eyes, ears, nose and lips and a malformed left hand hanging down her chest.

"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," Mathur shared. The hospital did not charge the family anything.

As explained by Live Science, a parasitic twin is an underdeveloped twin who died during development in the womb. In cases like this, a baby (host twin) is usually born complete, but with protruding tissues of its underdeveloped twin.

Last month, another baby underwent a six-hour procedure involving five surgeons, to remove her parasitic twin.

"A parasitic twin is an identical twin that fails to fully separate in development," said John R. Ruge, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, according to Reuters. "In other words, not another independent twin, but a twin that was dependent on her body system, such that Dominique's heart and lungs provided the nourishment."

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