The woman, Kantabai Gunvant Thakre from Pipariya (Seoni) in Madhya Pradesh was operated upon recently by a team of doctors from Nagpur's N K P Salve Institute of Medical Sciences (NKPSIMS) and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital here after she came for an OPD last week.
Since last two months, Thakre had been complaining of consistent pain in her abdomen. On check-up, the doctors felt a lump on the lower right side of her abdomen, and feared it was cancer. The presence of a lump was confirmed by sonography. Further, a CT scan revealed that the lump was made of hard, calcified matter.
"It was after the patient underwent a MRI that the doctors could make out that the mass was in fact a child's skeleton," Dr Murtaza Akhtar, head of surgery at the hospital, said on Tuesday.
A team of surgeons searched for medical literature on similar cases and found a Belgian woman had retained the remains of an ectopic pregnancy for 18 years, the longest period they could find on record.
The woman who got pregnant in 1978 as a 24-year-old, had then suffered from a medical condition in which the baby was growing outside the uterus. However, the pregnancy got terminated mid-way.
"We asked for a detailed medical history and the patient's brother told us that in 1978 she was pregnant and had some complications," said Dr B S Gedam, who led the team of surgeons.
Earlier, doctors from a city-based hospital had told her that her foetus might have died at that time and she would have to undergo an operation now. We gathered that she got scared at the prospect of surgery and went away to her village (Pipariya) without undergoing the operation, Gedam said.
He said that the patient claimed that after a few months of treatment at a health centre in her village, she was relieved.
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