Doctors in Sungai Petani perform incredibly rare surgery, removing boy’s unborn twin

Have you had your lunch? Are you eating? Thinking about food? Put down your muffin for one second while you read this.

According to the British Medical Journal, doctors at Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital, in Sungai Petani, Kedah, have performed a rare surgery on a 15-year-old boy. They removed the dead fetus of the boy’s unborn twin that had been growing inside him his whole life.

Are you sure you put down that muffin? OK – here is the image via the British Medical Journal:

The mass weighed 1.6kg, had deformed limbs, hair and a penis. It had been leeching blood and nutrients from the boy’s supply.

Local outlet The Sun reports that the unnamed patient had complained of unbearable stomach pain and bloating his whole life, yet doctors could not properly diagnose the condition.

Initially worried that the boy could have a tumor, a CT scan indicated that he had a 23.8cm-long mass inside him that had a spine.

The British Medical Journal report by lead surgeon Dr Rashide Yaacob, indicated that the mass had no means of survival, as it had no mouth umbilical cord nor a placenta.

The condition, known as “fetus in fetu” has only been recorded in medical literature 200 times, and is incredibly rare – making the case study findings important to doctors worldwide.

It’s caused when a twin does not complete separate in utero, and the healthy host absorbs the other body. In 80% of cases it will be housed in the host’s abdomen, though there are cases where an unformed twin has been found in the skull.

Dr Rashide Yaacob wrote that the surgery was a tricky one, as all tissue had to be completely excised, and any leftover mass could then turn malignant. The mass had multiple feeding vessels that had to be navigated.

Doctors were happy to report that it was a success and the boy has since recovered.

And on that note, what’s for lunch guys?


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