Parasitic twin removed from baby born with two sets of arms and legs

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A baby was born with four arms, four legs, and two sets of sex organs last year. Doctors rush to separate the parasitic twin from the baby.

A surgical procedure succeeded in removing a parasitic twin from a baby, who was born with four arms, four legs, and two sets of sexual organs.

Baby Jay-R was born on November 2017 to parents Percival and Maurine Javier, according to a report last February 1, Thursday, on the morning news show Unang Balita.

The operation was a success!

Under pediatric surgeon Dr. Esther Saguil, they were able operate on Baby Jay-R and remove the baby’s parasitic twin on December 12 at the Philippine General Hospital.

According to strict tests, the baby was well enough to undergo the operation. “The baby’s state is not too delicate,” Dr. Saguil said in an interview.

The operation was a success and Baby Jay-R is now well and recovering.

Caused by "incomplete twinning"

Parasitic twins are a special type of conjoined twins. It occurs when one twin stops developing during gestation. This twin then becomes vestigial, like a tail, while the other twin becomes fully-formed. The vestigial twin then becomes parasitic.

The birth of a dominant twin and a parasitic twin is the result of incomplete twinning. This is caused by one egg not fully separating into two, instead of one egg separating into two eggs to become twins.

Parasitic twins usually lack functional organs. They include extra hands, arms, feet, sexual organs, and in extreme cases, an extra head. At times, the parasitic twin is inside the dominant twin’s body.

What are the dangers of a parasitic twin?

In most cases, parasitic twins are generally harmless. But parasitic twins may cause health problems for the dominant twin if the parasitic twin has a number of limbs and organs to support. The dominant twin will end up providing for the needs of the parasitic twin.

In extreme cases where the parasitic twin has an extra torso or limbs, the dominant twin may experience heart failure as a result of supplying blood to both bodies.

Removing the "twin" is safe

Emergency medicine physician Dr. Kathleen Modina-Angue said separating the parasitic twin from your baby is safe. "It's relatively safe [since] they're not conjoined twins," she assured The Asian Parent.

"More often than not the parasitic twin is just a clump of organs/cells and the surviving twin doesn't know about it until they're way older. They usually aren't bothersome and when they are, they're fairly easy to remove."

According to Modina-Angue, they usually assess the risks involved, such as whether the parasitic twin can be separated and if the baby can survive. If not, they just leave the child alone for his own safety.

 

Source: GMA News, The Embryo Project Encyclopedia

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