In rare cases of multiple pregnancies, a phenomenon called “fetus in fetu” or “parasitic twin” can occur, happening once every 500,000 births.

This rare occurrence happened to Mónica Vega, a mother from Barranquilla, Colombia, where during a routine ultrasound in her third pregnancy, doctors discovered that a smaller fetus was growing inside the womb of her little girl, Itzamara, which had its own umbilical cord and amniotic fluid.

A well-known Colombian news channel broadcasted the case, explaining that this was caused by a strange alteration in embryonic development when the cells that make up the twin brothers do not divide properly and promote asymmetric growth. In this case, it happened on the 17th week of pregnancy.

Doctors discovered the condition before Itzamara was born, but they usually diagnose it months or years later, often mistaking the fetus for a tumor.

Surgeon Miguel Parra attended to the case and decided to schedule Itzamara’s caesarean section in the 37th week of her pregnancy to extract her twin brother’s fetus, as it would continue to grow and compromise her health.

The fetus, which grew inside Itzamara’s womb, had developed extremities, an umbilical cord, and amniotic fluid, but it did not have a heart or brain and would only stay alive depending entirely on its sister.

Itzamara’s parents kept hoping for a successful surgery and a healthy daughter.

Fortunately, the surgery was successful and the baby overcame the complications of pregnancy and surgery.

This unique case has generated reactions on social media and has marked a precedent in science.

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