An Indian teenager shocked the medical community when it was discovered that a lump that had been growing in the girl's abdomen for five years was her twin.
The unnamed teen told doctors that over the years, the lump had grown and become more painful, according to a report published by BMJ Case Reports.
Abdominal scans revealed a mass measuring 10 inches by 9 inches by 6 inches was taking up the majority of the girl's abdomen and putting pressure on her abdominal organs. The lump was described as firm and hard with an irregular surface.
Upon examination, doctors discovered that the mass was not a tumor, but an unusual mass that consisted of boney tissue that resembles vertebrae, ribs, and long bones. The mass even had hair, according to the report.
The "malformed fetus" the girl had in her abdomen was her twin, the report claimed. Doctors removed the mass without complications.
The girl suffered from an extremely rare condition called fetus in fetu, which only occurs once in every 500,000 births. Only 200 cases of the condition have ever been reported. In addition, this case was only the eighth case of the condition being reported in a female and the first case reported in an adult woman. The condition is more common in males, and most cases are discovered in younger children and infants.
The girl recovered from the surgery, which was performed two years ago and is reportedly doing well.
"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," the teenager said, per the case study.Fetus in fetu is similar to another condition called teratoma. A teratoma is a tumor that includes different kinds of tissue such as bone, muscle, or hair. The case report explained that the main difference between the two conditions is that with fetus in fetu, a "vertebral axis" exists with organs and limbs arranged around it.
Earlier this month, The Sun reported that a 29-year-old mother of two was pregnant when doctors discovered a lump on her ovary that turned out to be teratoma that contained fragments of teeth, hair, and nails. Doctors initially thought the mass might have been the twin of the baby the woman was carrying, but DNA tests revealed the tissue was too old to belong to the baby.