The baby with a parasitic twin protruding from her body underwent surgery and the doctors succeeded in detaching her underdeveloped sibling from her. Ten-month-old Dominique was born with the legs and feet of her twin attached to her upper back and neck. This condition occurs rarely and the only solution is surgery.
The girl is recovering fast
The baby girl was born in the Ivory Coast, in West Africa. She had to travel to the United States to have her twin removed. The surgery was performed at the Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, and it took six hours. The doctors succeeded in removing the parasitic twin and the girl suffered no complications.
Dominique’s foster care provider, Nancy Swabb, said that she was doing really well after the surgery, and she started recovering fast. She added that the baby was now able to raise her hands a little bit more than before. Also, she lost two pounds after the surgery.
What is a parasitic twin?
This rare condition occurs when two identical twins fail to separate in the womb. At birth, one of the babies is fully developed and has all the organs intact. However, he or she has to carry the remnants of the underdeveloped twin who died in the womb. The tissues of this parasitic twin are dependent on the host twin, as they take their resources from the systems of the host body.
It is still not known why, sometimes, twins fail to separate at birth. Doctors issued several hypotheses. One plausible one suggests that the restriction of blood supply during pregnancy might cause the mother to give birth to conjoined twins. Such cases are still rare, occurring with a rate of one such birth in one million.
The only solution in such cases is surgery. If she had not undergone the operation, Dominique would have been at a high risk of paralysis. This was the case since the tissues of her parasitic twin were attached to her spine. Thus, the baby was vulnerable to a high pressure and pull on her spinal cord.
Also, Dominique’s heart and lungs had to support the tissues of her underdeveloped sibling. This could have proven too much for a ten-month-old, so the lack of surgery would have shortened her lifespan. Now, Dominique is recovering quickly and is on her way of becoming a normal child.
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