Man's Twin Bursts Out of His Abdomen

May 12, 2009 05:59 PM
by Haley A. Lovett
A painful lump above Gavin Hyatt's bellybutton ruptured and excreted his twin, absorbed by Hyatt in utero. Other cases of "vanishing twins" are rare, but have recently made headlines.

Abdominal Pain Turns Out to Be Remains of Man's Twin

When Gavin Hyatt first felt a burning sensation near his belly button, he thought that maybe he had an insect bite.  But the burning soon turned into a large lump, and the area turned red and became hot.

According to The Sun, doctors at first thought that perhaps Hyatt had a cyst, an ingrown hair, or a hernia. Days later, to everyone's surprise, the skin ruptured and Hyatt started bleeding, the lump had pushed through his skin, revealing to doctors the remains of Hyatt's twin.

Vanishing twin syndrome is thought to happen in about 25-30% of multiple pregnancies, according to the American Pregnancy Association. One twin or multiple is miscarried and then absorbed by the mother, the placenta, or sometimes the other twin.

In Gavin's case, it is thought that he absorbed his twin at around 3-4 weeks in utero, the embryonic remains were only about 4cm long and had been in Hyatt's abdomen for the past 30 years.

Background: Absorbed twins and cases of fetus in fetu

Far more rare than the case of a miscarried twin being absorbed by the mother or other twin is the case of fetus in fetu in which one twin absorbs the other, but the absorbed twin continues to grow as a parasite inside of its host twin. According to ABC News there are only about 90 recorded cases of fetus in fetu in medical history.

In October of 2008, Sam Esquibel was born with what doctors thought was a brain tumor. During surgery to remove the mass, doctors found a foot, part of another foot, and a hand. Doctors belive that Esquibel had the rare case of fetus in fetu.

In May of last year, a nine-year-old in Greece was suffering from abdominal pain, when doctors performed surgery they found a two-inch embryo growing inside her, another case of fetus in fetu in which the fetus had a formed body and head, but no brain or umbilical cord.

Perhaps the most well known modern case of fetus in fetu is that of Sanju Bhagat, who's parasitic twin grew inside of his abdomen until he looked pregnant. According to ABC News the tumor was so large that Bhagat developed difficulty breathing, doctors worked to remove the tumor and found limbs, hair, a jaw, and even fingernails that had grown long over time.

Related Topics: Chimeras and Twin Anomalies

Multiple births, an uncommon phenomena on their own, can include fascinating medical anomanlies such as fetus in fetu and other strange occurance, a chimera.

ABC News reported in 2006 that in two cases in the United States women had been found to have two different types of DNA in their bodies, which could be explained by the extremely rare occurance that fertilized eggs had combined in the womb and created one baby with two types of DNA. listed what it found to be the 10 most facinating twin stories which included twins with vastly different skin colors, twins with different fathers, twins with a great difference in height, and the world's oldest twins.

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