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36-year old skeleton removed from woman's abdomen

20 week old fetal bone development ..
20 week old fetal bone development ..Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Although a young Indian woman became pregnant at the age of 24, it took doctors 36 years to remove her fetus, which had actually grown outside of her uterus. According to Dr. Murtaza Akhtar, head of surgery at the NKP Salve Institute of Medical Science in Nagpur, India, the unnamed woman (now 60) “came to us complaining of pain in the abdomen."

Although doctors feared the cause could be cancer after feeling a lump on her lower right abdomen, tests and scans revealed a calcified mass, which turned out to be “a matured skeleton encapsulated in a calcified sac,” Akhtar continued.

It was then that the patient, who had come from an impoverished rural part of the county, admitted she had become pregnant in 1978, but thought she had miscarried, but was too terrified at the time to have surgery to remove the fetus’s remains. Instead she went to a local clinic for medication to ease her pains. While they subsided over time, a recurrence of abdominal pains finally forced her to seek help at the city hospital, where surgeons. successfully removed the remains of her pregnancy, including several parts of a rib cage, leg and arm bones and sections of a skull, spine and pelvis, had been lodged between her uterus, intestines and bladder all these years.

This is now the longest recorded instance of remains of an ectopic pregnancy being retained, although a woman in Belgium was previously found to have had remains of a fetus inside of her for 18 years.
"As far as this case is concerned, it's the rarest of rare cases and very difficult to believe," stated Akhtar