Tags: 50 year old | fetus | calcified | mummy

50-Year-Old Fetus: Calcified Mass Found Inside Chilean Woman's Abdomen

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Jun 2015 08:35 AM

Doctors discovered a 50-year-old calcified fetus inside an elderly Chilean woman's abdomen recently, but experts say they likely won't remove the four-pound mass.

The woman, who is 92 years old, was taken to the hospital after a fall and that's when X-rays revealed the fetus inside her abdomen but outside her uterus, The Independent reported. The mummified mass was at one point a viable pregnancy that likely died some 50 years ago and then calcified outside of the womb in a phenomenon called "lithopedion," the U.K. newspaper noted.

Sources told Agence France-Presse on Friday that there have only been several hundred cases of lithopedion in medical history and, like in the woman's case, they're usually not discovered until years later.

Marco Vargas Lazo, the director of the hospital that treated the woman, said that the fetus was "large and developed and occupied all of her abdominal cavity," Efe news agency reported per the BBC News.

Doctors later discharged the woman and told Chilean media that they would probably not remove the fetus because of the patient's age.

A similar discovery was made in 2013 when a 40-year-old fetus was found inside an 82-year-old woman in Colombia, according to The Telegraph. In that incident, the woman was taken to a Bogota hospital after suffering from abdominal pain.

Doctors said then that the with the lithopedion process, the body develops a calcium barrier that protects the mother from the decaying fetus when it has become too large to be absorbed back into the body, mummifying it. The calcified fetus is also known as a stone baby, The Telegraph noted.

The 82-year-old woman did undergo surgery to have the fetus removed.

Dr. Kim Garcsi, of the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, told ABC News in 2013 that instances of lithopedion can be found about 300 times in medical literature. Garcsi said the incident can occur when the fetus does not get enough blood and dies, but the body has no way to expel it.

"Most of the time people find these and (sometimes) even after they're found and don't do anything about it because they're totally asymptomatic," Garcsi told ABC News.

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Doctors discovered a 50-year-old calcified fetus inside an elderly Chilean woman's abdomen recently, but experts say they likely won't remove the four-pound mass.
50 year old, fetus, calcified, mummy
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2015-35-23
Tuesday, 23 Jun 2015 08:35 AM
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