Doctors suspected something unusual when they picked up, what they thought to be a cyst, in the baby’s abdomen during a routine ultrasound of the mother in the fifth month of pregnancy. Two months later, when the mother visited for a follow-up scan in the seventh month of pregnancy, it was clear that the mass was not a cyst. The scan found bones and viscera, suggestive of body parts of a foetus that was inside the abdomen of the healthy fetus.
The couple in their thirties, who did not wish to be identified, said they were advised to carry on with the pregnancy by the doctors at the suburban maternity hospital they were consulting. “We were anxious, but the doctors told us that any intervention has to be done only after the baby is born,” the father told TOI.
He said that the pregnancy was continued to term, and the baby was born without any complications. The couple consulted multiple doctors who recommended removal of the ‘dead twin’ from inside the healthy baby.
They approached Narayana Health’s SRCC Children’s Hospital in Mahalaxmi after the baby was a month old. Doctors found the dead twin in an amniotic sac in the upper part of the newborn’s tummy, displacing vital structures.
“A challenge in such cases is to remove the baby with the amniotic sac intact,” said Dr Sarita Bhagwat, senior paediatric surgeon who led the operation. The healthy baby was recently discharged from the hospital after recovery.