Colombian baby girl born with her twin INSIDE her
Content Editor / March 21 2019
A baby girl born with a malformed twin growing inside her stomach has survived emergency surgery just 24 hours after her birth.
The newborn baby, Itzamara, underwent life-saving surgery in Barranquilla, Colombia to remove the foetus.
It's believed that cases such as these - called 'fetus-in-fetu' births, are incredibly rare. They were first described in 1808 but rarely seen since.
This particular case broke new ground because the mother's obstetrician, Dr Miguel Parra-Saavedra, noticed it on a scan at 35 weeks' gestation by using a 3D/4D ultrasound technique.
The team delivered baby Itzamara early via C-section at 37 weeks at La Merced clinic to prevent her twin growing and damaging her internal organs.
The following day, they performed keyhole surgery to remove her 45-millimeter, 14-gram twin, who died when its umbilical cord was cut. The baby had arms and legs but no heart and no brain.
Dr Parra-Saavedra said, Itzamara was actually "pregnant" with her sister.
Now, a month later, little Itzamara is recovering well, with barely any signs of damage or impact to her abdomen.
It was "one of the strangest and most fascinating things you can see in maternal-fetal medicine," Dr Parra-Saavedra told his local paper The Herald.
Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.