|KERMAN, Jan. 31 (MNA) – A 22-year-old man who went to the Shahid Bahonar Hospital in Kerman province, southeast Iran, suffering from stomach pains was found to be carrying his embryonic twin.|
Doctors at the hospital examined the man and surgically removed the embryo which was a formed fetus with a head, hair, teeth, fingernails, skin, and skull as well as spinal column. The man made a recovery.
Medical professionals are still proposing that the 22-year-old is suffering from a dermoid cyst — also called a mature teratoma. A dermoid cyst is a saclike growth, present at birth, which contains structures such as hair, fluid, teeth, or skin glands. According to WebMD, the cysts are caused when skin and skin structures become trapped during fetal development, and usually occur on the face, inside the skull, on the lower back, and in the ovaries. Dermoid cysts can become inflamed and painful, and can be removed by medical procedures.
Scientists believe that the incidence of one twin absorbing the other in the womb is very rare. It occurs once in every live 500,000 births.
Vanishing Twin Syndrome, when one twin is either miscarried or its tissue is reabsorbed by the mother, is far more common. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the incidence occurs in 21–30 percent of twin or multiple pregnancies.
In Greece in 2008, a nine-year-old girl came in complaining of stomach pains. Doctors examined the girl and realized the girl’s abdomen was hosting an embryo more than two inches long.
In 2005, doctors in Bangladesh said they removed a long-dead fetus from the abdomen of 16-year-old Abu Raihan. The fetus, which had grown like a tumor and weighed nearly five pounds, would have become the boy’s twin had it developed normally, they said.
In 2006 in India, doctors operating on 36-year-old Sanju Bhagat found what they believe was the mutated body of the man’s dead twin brother. According to ABC, "the half-formed creature had feet and hands that were very developed. His/her fingernails were quite long.”