Peru doctors to remove "parasitic twin" from boy

Leonidas Pacunda holds up the shirt of his son Isbac Pacunda, who was diagnosed with "Fetus in fetu" at Las Mercedes hospital in Chiclayo, Peru, Saturday Jan. 28, 2012. Isbac, 3, was diagnosed with having tissues from the fetus of his twin brother in his abdomen, called "Fetus in fetu," and will be operated on Monday, according to doctors. Fetus in fetu occurs once in every 500,000 live births, according pediatric surgeon Carlos Astocondor, who will lead the surgery with 12 other physicians.
AP Photo/Karel Navarro

LIMA, Peru - Doctors in Peru have found a "parasitic twin" in the stomach of a 3-year-old boy, and plan to surgically remove the tissue Monday.

Dr. Carlos Astocondor of the medical team at Las Mercedes Hospital in the northern port of Chiclayo says the condition occurs in about one of every 500,000 live births.

Astocondor will lead a team of 12 other physicians to remove the excess tissue from Isbac Pacunda in an operation that will take several hours.

He says the partially formed fetus weighs a pound and a half and is nine inches long.

Astocondor says the brain, heart, lungs and intestines never developed after the fetus was absorbed by the other fetus inside the mother's womb. He says it has some hair on the cranium, eyes and some bones.

Cases like these, where the twin was absorbed and not able to live outside its sibling, are commondly referred to as "Fetus in fetu."

Dr. Sharan Patil, right, talks to Lakshmi Tatma, left, at the Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore, India, Monday, Nov. 5, 2007.
AP Photo

Among the most famous recent cases of a "parasitic twin" was that of Lakshmi Tatma, an Indian girl born in 2005 with eight limbs and two torsos fused at the hips. In 2008, doctors in Bangalore successfully removed the excess limbs after 27 hours of surgery, and the most recent reports say she is recovering well.

Watch the Associated Press' short video report on Isbac Pacunda here.