Friday, August 3, 2007

A Pregnant Man?

ABC news reported the following medical story that is worth storing in your memory banks for when things get slow during a conversation.
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Sanju Bhagat’s stomach was once so swollen he looked nine months pregnant and could barely breathe.

Living in the city of Nagpur, India, Bhagat said he’d felt self-conscious his whole life about his big belly. But one night in June 1999, his problem erupted into something much larger than cosmetic worry.
An ambulance rushed the 36-year-old farmer to the hospital. Doctors thought he might have a giant tumor, so they decided to operate and remove the source of the bulge in his belly.

"Basically, the tumor was so big that it was pressing on his diaphragm and that’s why he was very breathless," said Dr. Ajay Mehta of Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. "Because of the sheer size of the tumor, it makes it difficult [to operate]. We anticipated a lot of problems."

Mehta said that he can usually spot a tumor just after he begins an operation. But while operating on Bhagat, Mehta saw something he had never encountered. As he cut deeper into Bhagat’s stomach, gallons of fluid spilled out-and then something extraordinary happened.

"To my surprise and horror, I could shake hands with somebody inside," he said. "It was a bit shocking for me."

One doctor recalled that day in the operating room. "He just put his hand inside and he said there are a lot of bones inside," she said. "First, one limb came out, then another limb came out. Then some part of genitalia, then some part of hair, some limbs, jaws, limbs, hair."

Inside Bhagat’s stomach was a strange, half-formed creature that had feet and hands that were very developed. Its fingernails were quite long.

"We were horrified. We were confused and amazed," Mehta said.

At first glance, it may look as if Bhagat had given birth. Actually, Mehta had removed the mutated body of Bhagat’s twin brother from his stomach. Bhagat, they discovered, had one of the world’s most bizarre medical conditions -- fetus in fetu. It is an extremely rare abnormality that occurs when a fetus gets trapped inside its twin. The trapped fetus can survive as a parasite even past birth by forming an umbilical cordlike structure that leaches its twin’s blood supply until it grows so large that it starts to harm the host, at which point doctors usually intervene.

According to Mehta, there are fewer than 90 cases of fetus in fetu recorded in medical literature.

4 comments:

Harry Blalock said...

Thanks David, like I needed something else to have nightmares about!

Brad said...

There is an episode of the x-files where something similar happens. Wow....what an amazing story!

bradinthesand said...

when did angelo grow a mustache and change his name to Sanju Bhagat?

Anonymous said...

erm, NIGHTMARES! , wonder what the baby/thing looked like, maby post a pic of it? curiosity =/