Lump growing in teen’s stomach was her own TWIN – complete with spine, ribs and hair

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A TEENAGER was left horrified to discover the lump in her stomach was actually her own twin – complete with spine, ribs and hair.

The 17-year-old told docs she’d had the lump for about five years and that it had been gradually getting bigger and more painful.

Scans of the 17-year-old woman's abdomen revealed she was carrying her twin
BMJ

Scans of the 17-year-old woman’s abdomen revealed she was carrying her twin[/caption]

The teenager’s stomach was swollen and the lump was found to be hard and firm to the touch
BMJ

She had no other symptoms and during examination – aside from the hard, firm growth in her stomach – everything else appeared normal.

Medics in India carried out abdominal scans which showed a well-defined mass measuring 10 x 9 x 6in, according to an article published in BMJ Case Reports.

It revealed soft tissue and fat density as well as what appeared to be multiple tiny bones resembling a spine and ribs.

The mass was causing compression on the woman’s internal organs in her abdomen, docs said.

Ultra rare

From the scans and examinations, medics diagnosed the unnamed woman as having fetus in fetu (FIF) – in other words, she was carrying her unborn twin’s fetus in her stomach.

It’s an extremely rare condition which occurs just 1 in 500,000 live births – and less than 200 cases have ever been reported.

Cases of FIF tend to be detected in early age and are more common in males.

Dr Anil Kumar, who co-authored the report, explained that this was only the eighth case of adult FIF – and the first in an adult woman.

During the operation, surgeons found the encapsulated mass under her liver and reaching up to her pelvic rim.

I was much worried about my abdominal lump, after operation I am feeling very well and my abdomen is now flat and my parents are also very happy


unnamed 17-year-old patient

They noted the tumour consisted of hairs, mature bones and other body parts.

Once it was removed and examined they found it was made up a hairy cheesy material, multiple teeth and early limb formations.

The woman was stitched up and went on to make a good recovery.

She said: “I was much worried about my abdominal lump, after operation I am feeling very well and my abdomen is now flat and my parents are also very happy.

“Thanks to all operating doctors.”

Other cases

This week, we reported another similar case in the UK when a mum was discovered a cyst on her ovaries was actually a lump containing teeth, nails and hair from her own twin.

Mum-of-two Hannah Bridgewater, 29, was nine months’ pregnant with her daughter Lexie, now six, in 2012 when she collapsed and was rushed into hospital.

And medics soon found a lemon-sized cyst on the full-time carer’s right ovary – before discovering the lump contained fragments of teeth, hair and nails that matched her DNA.

Doctors initially believed the body parts belonged to Lexie’s twin but found they were too old for that to be the case.

It meant they had to belong to Hannah’s own twin which she had carried inside her body without realising it since before she was born.

FIF cases are ultra rare thanks to advances in ultrasound technology which means that they are usually detected during pregnancy.


If a twin is detected inside its living sibling they are removed soon after birth.

However, there are cases where this can be missed and the twin can grow up with the tumour inside for years.

One of the oldest cases is believed to be an Italian man who was 47 when doctors found a fetus in his upper abdomen in the early 1990s.

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