4-Year-Old Boy Thought To Have Stomach Tumor Actually Had Dead Fetus Inside Him

| by Brendan Kelly
fetus in fetu radiographfetus in fetu radiograph

A 4-year-old boy was thought to have a tumor in his abdomen, but doctors discovered that the boy was actually born seemingly pregnant due to an extremely rare condition.

The child was born with a condition called "fetus in fetu," which causes a child to be born with a fetus in his or her abdomen. The condition is so rare that it affects about one in every 500,000 births, and there are only 200 reported cases in history, according to the Daily Mail.

Around the beginning of October, the boy complained about severe stomach pains and was taken to the hospital. Doctors believed that he might have a tumor.

When they performed an ultrasound and a CT scan, it was revealed that the cause of the pain was actually a "developed" dead fetus inside the child's abdomen, according to the International Business Times.

"The dead embryo -- which had hands, legs, nails and a partially formed head -- was removed from the child's body after a long operation," Dr. Shirshendu Giri, who led the team of doctors performing the surgery, told the International Business Times. "The boy is alright now [but] still under close observation."

During early stages of pregnancy, if a woman is carrying twins whose bodies are joined together, there is a slight chance that one fetus can enter the other through the umbilical cord, the Daily Mail notes. When that happens, the enveloped twin becomes a parasite to the host twin and its survival depends on the host's survival. After birth, it can pose a threat to the life of the host twin.

Sources: Daily Mail, International Business Times / Photo Credit: Wikipedia