Medics in Colombia discover a 40-year-old foetus in an elderly woman's abdomen in a rare case of lithopedion.
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (DECEMBER 11, 2013) (REUTERS) - Doctors in Colombia have found a 40-year-old foetus inside an elderly woman admitted to a Bogota hospital for abdominal pain, local media reported on Wednesday (December 12).
"An 82-year-old patient who arrived at emergency services on December 08 with diarrhoea and in the medical exam the medic who was looking over (the patient) noted something abnormal in her abdomen and ordered an exam thinking that perhaps it was gallstones. An ultrasound was done and it wasn't positive. Then, an abdominal radiography was ordered which located a tumour in the abdominal cavity which concluded that it was a foetus in the woman's abdomen," said Dr. Kemer Ramirez.
Local media reported that the foetus had been inside the woman for some 40 years, the result of a rare medical phenomena known as lithopedion where a foetus does not develop in the uterus but the abdominal.
"This happens because the foetus does not develop in the uterus because it has moved to another place. In this case, the abdominal part of the woman is not a viable (place) and this is what happened, a calcified foetus because the body is generating defence mechanisms and it is calcified until it stays there encapsulated," explained Ramirez.
Abdominal pregnancy reportedly occurs in every 11,000 pregnancies, of which only about 1.5% develop into lithopedion.
The patient was reportedly transferred to another hospital to undergo surgery to remove the foetus.