To everyone’s shock, a baby girl called Itzamara was born in Columbia with her own twin sister inside her. She is a very example of ‘fetus-in-fetu’ birth. It was first described in 1808.
In this case, the unformed twin was still growing with its own umbilical cord inside the baby girl.
The mother’s specialist obstetrician, Dr Miguel Parra-Saavedra, spotted it on a scan at 35 weeks’ gestation thanks to a 3D/4D ultrasound technique.
At 37 weeks, the doctors delivered seven-pound Itzamara early via C-section to prevent her twin growing and damaging her internal organs.
Later, a day after, they performed keyhole surgery to remove her 45-millimeter, 14-gram twin, who died when its umbilical cord was cut and the baby had arms and legs but no heart and no brain.
Doctors said that Itzamara is in perfect health, with barely any signs of damage or impact to her abdomen.
As per experts, Fetus-in-fetu twins occur as a result of late cell division, meaning the twins don’t fully separate. One connects to the mother via the placenta, while the other, smaller one connects to its twin’s vessels. As the bigger twin grows, the smaller twin becomes absorbed into the abdomen.