Doctor finds baby growing in woman’s liver; know about the ‘extremely rare’ condition

In a rarest of rare case, a 33-year-old woman in Canada has a foetus growing inside her liver, her treating paediatrician shared in a TikTok video.

In the video, Dr Michael Narvey of Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, described the rare condition, something he said he has never come across in his career.

“I thought I had seen it all. A 33-year-old woman comes in with a 14-day history of menstrual bleeding and 49 days since her last menstrual period. She had an ectopic pregnancy in her liver,” said Dr Narvey.

As per the pediatrician, the condition is “sometimes seen in the abdomen” but “never in the liver”. “This is a first for me. Have you ever seen this?” asked the doctor.

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

While in a normal pregnancy, the fertilised egg implants and develops in the uterus, in most ectopic pregnancies, the egg settles in the fallopian tubes. However, a pregnancy in the liver, is definitely an “extremely rare case”, said Dr Pradnya Parulkar, gynecologist at Bhatia Hospital.

Why does it happen?

It happens in patients who have pelvic inflammatory disease, damaged or scarred tubes or have previous history of ectopic pregnancy or pregnancy with fertility treatment, Dr Parulkar told indianexpress.com.

What are the risks?

An ectopic pregnancy can’t proceed normally. The fertilised egg can’t survive, and the growing tissue may cause life-threatening bleeding, if left untreated, stated Dr Pradeep Mahindrakar, MD, consultant pathologist, and Dr Ambuja Mahindrakar, MB,DGO, consultant gynecologist and fertility specialist, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd.

Nowadays its incidences are increasing because of improper execution of IVF as well, said Dr Poonam Aggarwal, senior consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute. “Although ectopic pregnancy is treatable but it brings high risk to the life of a mother, hence early detection is the key. It can be diagnosed through ultrasound right after the pregnancy occurs,” said Dr Aggarwal.

What can be done?

As per experts, levels of Beta HCG hormone increase during pregnancy. This blood test may be repeated every few days until ultrasound testing can confirm or rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

Once diagnosed with sonography and blood test for beta HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin), it can be treated medically if it’s small and unruptured.

“Ruptured ectopic pregnancy needs emergency surgery which can be done laparoscopically where either the damaged part (or tube) is removed (salpingectomy), or only the ectopic pregnancy is removed,” said Dr Parulkar.

As per Dr Aggarwal, “The case must be treated within three to four days of its development. Patient should be aware about additional complications during pregnancies in order to reduce the upcoming risks,” she said.

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