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Russian Doctors Remove
Parasite Child from Nikita

SVETLANA SHESTAKOVA / Pravda 1sep03

Irkutsk-based surgeons performed a unique operation

On August 11th, a very unusual child was born. The baby-boy was named Nikita. Another body was growing on the baby's stomach—it had little legs, hands, genitals, but no head. Nikita was urgently taken to the regional center, where doctors removed excessive body parts.

Yury Kozlov, chief doctor of the hospital's surgery department talks about the unique operation.

Russian Doctors Remove Parasite Child from Nikita SVETLANA SHESTAKOVA / Pravda 1sep03

Nikita

"Mass media outlets in Irkutsk were writing about the birth of Siamese twins, which was incorrect. There are a lot of Siamese twins in the world. The word "Siamese" originates from "Siam" - a territory in India, where a lot of such babies are born because of closely-related marriages. In fact, two twins simply grow together symmetrically. However, there was no symmetry with Nikita, the bifurcation was incomplete. There was a healthy child (specialists call it the "host-child") and a "parasite child" growing from the stomach. The parasite child did not have a head, it had no lungs and no heart, although it had a kidney, the urinary bladder, the urethra and the intestines. The parasite child was living with the host child's help."

Modern medicine knows only twelve incidents, when a baby was born with a parasite child, growing in the stomach. There was an incident, when another baby was growing inside the abdominal cavity. The recent operation in the Siberian city of Irkutsk was the first example of bifurcation, when the "parasite" was growing on the baby's stomach. Dr. Kozlov performed a similar operation about four years ago, but the parasite baby was growing on the back.

"If Nikita were absolutely healthy, it would be possible to delay the operation for up to one or three years. It would only be a cosmetic problem. Usually, such operations are performed when a child turns 12 months, because this is the age, when a baby starts walking, and the parasite child may prevent the normal development of the host child. We had to operate Nikita urgently, because he had a congenital heart disorder. The parasite child worsened the blood circulation, and Nikita's heart could not cope with such hard work. It was hard for the boy to feed two bodies. In addition, Nikita will have to have a heart operation at the age of three months. Doctors would not venture to perform an operation with the parasite baby," Dr. Kozlov said.

Nikita became his mother's second child, born to her second marriage. Her daughter is a normal, healthy child. Nikita will stay at the hospital until he is a month old. Doctors will be observing him in the future too. Nikita's heart disease is quiet now, but this situation usually lasts for three months. At the age of three months, a crisis may happen, when a very serious heart operation will be necessary. Such an operation may be performed in Novosibirsk, in Moscow or St. Petersburg.

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