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Colombian Doctors Discover 40-Year-Old Fetus In Eldery Woman

Medics in Colombia discover a 40-year-old fetus in an elderly woman's abdomen in a rare case of lithopedion. 2013-12-11 09:12 PM EST Last Updated: 2013-12-11 09:17 PM EST
Radiography photo of fetus found in 82-year-old Colombian woman.
Doctors in Colombia have found a 40-year-old fetus inside an elderly woman admitted to a Bogota hospital for abdominal pain, local media reported on Wednesday (December 12).

The 82-year-old woman was thought to be suffering from gastro-enteritis, an infectious form of diarrhea, when a radiography exam at Bogota's Tunjuelito Hospital discovered the fetus on Monday (December 09).

"An 82-year-old patient who arrived at emergency services on December 8 with diarrhea 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 tumor in the abdominal cavity which concluded that it was a fetus in the woman's abdomen," said Dr. Kemer Ramirez.

Local media reported that the fetus had been inside the woman for some 40 years, the result of a rare medical phenomena known as lithopedion where a fetus does not develop in the uterus but the abdominal.

"This happens because the fetus 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 fetus because the body is generating defense 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 fetus.

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