A team of Chinese surgeons has successfully operated on a two-year-old boy, who was 'pregnant' with his parasitic twin.
The toddler, Xiao Feng , from Huaxi, was admitted to hospital with an abnormally large stomach and severe breathing difficulties. Various medical tests including X-Rays and MRI scans showed that Feng's parasitic twin was growing inside his stomach. The boy had absorbed his twin pair in utero.
Feng underwent an emergency operation where surgeons successfully removed the foetus from his stomach. Chinese media reported that the foetus was a boy and measured 20 cm in width and had spine and limbs with fingers and toes. Inquisitr reported that the foetus occupied nearly 2/3rds of the boy's stomach.
Parasitic twin, also known as craniopagus parasiticus, are formed the same way as conjoined twins during the early stages of pregnancy. Conjoined twins are formed when a woman releases a single egg that fails to separate completely after fertilisation. Though the embryo starts splitting into two, the process stops in the middle and the partial separation results in conjoined twins. However, in parasitic twins, only one twin develops fully. The partially developed twin is known as parasitic as it depends on the dominant twin or autosite twin to survive.
Parasitic twins have been part of medical history for a long time. Rudy Santos (69), popularly known as Octoman from Philippines, is the oldest person in the world to live with an extra pair of arms and legs attached to his pelvis and abdomen. His parasitic twin legs also contain nipples, an undeveloped head with ear and hair. Another case of parasitic twin occurred in 2004 in Cairo. Manar Maged, a baby girl, was born with her parasitic twin attached to her head. Both twins, however, didn't survive the surgery conducted to separate them.
Here is a video showing the 'pregnant' Chinese boy: