A newborn in India has undergone life-saving surgery to remove a head that was attached to her stomach.
The parasitic twin was born at a hospital in India on May 13 and was later rushed to JK Lone Hospital in Jaipur when doctors realised the complication.
The baby was born naturally and weighed four pounds eight ounces, but the head of the twin was clearly formed and attached to her side.
“This is a case of Hetropagus twinning or commonly known as Parasitic twinning. In such cases surgery is successful,” Dr Chetan Sharma told New York Daily News at the time.
“She’s a healthy child with a normal heartbeat. She doesn’t have any other internal or external complexities and that increases her chances of survival.”
They had initially waited until the newborn was in stable condition before they operated in order to give her the best chance at survival.
The operation was a success but the baby will have to undergo one more procedure.
“We have successfully detached the head that was attached to the anterior abdominal wall. Blood from the baby’s chest and abdomen was feeding the head. We managed to reconstruct the abdominal wall,” said Dr. Chetan Sharma, the surgeon who operated on the baby.
“The baby will require a second and final operation to reconstruct the exomphalos after 45 days. And she will then be a completely healthy child with no medical complications in the future.”
Her parents, who were too poor to have an ultrasound to determine the complication, are overjoyed by the success of the operation, which the hospital did for free.
“I am very happy and thankful to the doctors and God for my daughter’s successful surgery,” Father Ramjilal Bairva said.
“I could not hold my baby before, but now I will be able to cuddle her. She is a very beautiful and I will make sure that she faces no problem in the future.”
Parasitic twins are fairly uncommon, and occur when a twin embryo develops in utero but the pair does not fully separate. One remains developmentally dominant at the expense of the other.