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Woman dies after surgery to remove dead foetus she carried for 56 years

An 81-year-old Brazilian woman died after   undergoing surgery to remove a 56-year-old foetus from her abdomen.

Daniela Vera unknowingly had an ectopic pregnancy when she was younger, and complaints of stomach pain were ignored by doctors for years.

Daniela, from Aral Moreira, Brazil, went to a local health centre on March 10, where she was treated for a water infection, before being sent to another hospital where she received 3D scans.

The scans revealed lithopedion – from the Greek words meaning ‘stone’ and ‘child’ – a condition where an abdominal ectopic pregnancy calcifies around the foetus.

Despite having seven children, the condition went unnoticed until Daniela received the scans.

She went into surgery, after which she was moved into intensive care, where she died on March 15 after suffering an infection.

Dr Patrick Dezir, the head of the Ponta Pora Hospital health department, said: ‘When pregnancy occurs, it must be inside the uterus, but in some situations, pregnancy can occur outside.

‘That baby was not clinical, the patient did not have acute pain and did not have major bleeding and this diagnosis goes unnoticed and time will take care of that foreign body that was left inside the woman’s abdomen.’

Daniela’s child, Rosely Almedia, said: ‘She was old and we are indigenous, she didn’t like going to the doctor, she was afraid of the equipment to take exams.’

Daniela had complained of abdominal pain since her first pregnancy when she was a teenager, her daughter said.

Rosely added: ‘She said so it looked like a baby was moving inside her belly and sometimes she felt sick, but we never suspected that it was that.’

In 2013, a similar incident happened to an 82-year-old woman in Colombia, who had been carrying a 40 year-old stone baby in her belly.

The four-pound fetus remained in her abdomen for decades before she underwent surgery to remove it.

Lithopedion is extremely rare, occurring in only 0.0054% of all pregnancies.

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