A surgeon in India will operate on a baby girl who was born with a head attached to her stomach.
Amlekha Bairva gave birth to parasitic twins last month in a hospital run by the government in their village, and was taken to JK Lone Hospital in Jaipur, in the northern India state of Rajasthan, for more tests, Cover Asia Press reports via the New York Daily News.
The unnamed baby girl was born naturally, weighing four pounds and eight ounces. Her twin’s head is not fully developed and connected at the neck to the baby’s stomach.
The baby is under medical observation while physicians are hoping to remove the extra head.
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This is a case of Hetropagus twinning, also known as a parasitic twin.
“In such cases surgery is successful,” said Dr. Chetan Sharma, a pediatric surgeon at JK Lone Hospital, who has performed the surgery. "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. We are confident that the surgery would be successful and the girl will lead a normal life with no future complexities in the future.”
Amlekha and her husband Ramji Lal Bairva, 29, who also have a 5-year-old son, couldn’t afford ultrasound scans during pregnancy so they did not know about the complications.
The hospital has confirmed that they will not charge the family for the cost of surgery.
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"I didn't take my wife to the doctor during her pregnancy as I did not have money for any treatment," Ramji Lal said. "Also my first child was born normal so I never thought there could be any complications with my second child. When I saw my daughter, I could not believe my eyes, I couldn't pick her up.”
According to The Embryo Project Encyclopedia, parasitic twins occur when one twin stops developing during gestation and becomes vestigial to the fully formed dominant twin, also known as the autositic twin.
(Photos via the New York Daily News)