Doctors remove foetus left inside mother for 36 years

Doctors in India have removed the skeleton of a foetus believed to have been inside a woman for 36 years.

The 60-year-old woman became pregnant at the age of 24, but suffered a miscarriage because the foetus had been growing outside of her uterus, a doctor said on Monday.

The woman, from a poor rural area in India, was “terrified” of having surgery at the time to remove the remains of the foetus, and instead sought medication for the pain at a local clinic.

Although the pain gradually subsided, it returned years later, forcing the woman to seek medical help in a city hospital.

Dr Murtaza Akhtar, head of surgery at the N.K.P. Salve Institute of Medical Sciences in the city of Nagpur, said: "She came to us complaining of pain in the abdomen."

“This is a case in which the woman got pregnant outside the uterus. She told us she was pregnant in 1978 and it was a mature pregnancy,” he said.

Medical marvel

Doctors felt a lump on her lower right abdomen and feared it could be cancer – but further tests and scans revealed a calcified mass.

“Once we saw the scans, our first reaction was ‘what are we dealing with’? It was actually a matured skeleton encapsulated in a calcified sac,” Dr Akhtar said.

“A 60-year-old woman with a foetus lying in her abdomen for 36 years is a medical marvel. It’s something we had never heard about.”

A team of doctors in Nagpur successfully performed surgery to remove the mass that was lodged between the woman’s uterus, intestines and bladder.

Skeletal remains removed include numerous parts of a rib cage, leg and arm bones and sections of a skull, spine and pelvis.

“As far as this case is concerned, it’s the rarest of rare cases and very difficult to believe,” Dr Akhtar said.

Source: AFP