A BABY born with two heads is expected to survive after doctors removed the parasitic twin that was “feeding off” her blood supply.
The baby girl, who is yet to be named, was born via C-section at Ram Snehi Hospital in northern India last month.
But doctors were shocked to discover the newborn had an extra head complete with eyes, ears, a nose and lips protruding from her stomach.
The parasitic twin also had a malformed hand hanging over the little girl’s chest.
This baby was born with an extra head complete with eyes, ears, nose and lips and a malformed left hand hanging down her chest. Picture: Caters NewsSource:Caters News Agency
Doctors referred her for surgery at JK Lone Hospital in Jaipur some 336 miles away. A team of surgeons removed the head in a four-hour operation.
“This is one of the rarest cases of parasitic twin. It was a complicated case as the twins shared blood vessels,” said Dr Pravin Mathur, head of paediatric surgery at the hospital.
“They were joined from the thorax and shared common vessels for blood supply from heart and liver.”
The parents, who work on a farm, were told they were expecting twins during a routine ultrasound. But doctors did not realise one of the twins was parasitic.
Though similar to a conjoined twin, a parasitic twin is not fully formed and was never a viable foetus.
The baby in recovery after the operation. Picture: Caters NewsSource:Caters News Agency
The young couple, who did not want to be identified, were unsure their baby girl would survive long enough to have her twin removed.
“The parents told us the mother had undergone sonography and other tests but were not told about carrying an underdeveloped twin,” Dr Mathur said.
“They were shattered when they saw the baby. We had to convince them to give us a nod for the surgery to save their daughter’s life. The baby had chances of catching septicaemia.
“We immediately conducted CT Scans, blood tests and X-rays and operated on the child.”
The hospital reportedly did not charge the family for any costs and the baby is recovering well.
A parasitic twin can occur when twin embryos begin developing in the womb but do not split properly.