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Pregnancy In The Liver?! Only Four Such Cases In The World & Only One Survived?

When it comes to the human body and different medical cases there are many that still baffle doctors each day. And there are some so rare that some can go their whole medical careers without hearing about them. This has been in the case of one Canadian doctor who shared this medical first for him to TikTok and which quickly went viral, horrifying many that this could even have been a possibility. What exactly happened? Well, the doctor shared an ultrasound of a fetus that was developing in the liver! Just how rare is such an occurrence? Have any other babies developed like this? Did any of them survive? Read on to find out about this pregnancy which has horrified many.

Viral TikTok Video

Viral TikTok Video

Recently pediatrician doctor Michael Narvey who works at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba in Canada, took to his TikTok account to detail a highly unusual case. He talked about a 33-year-old woman who had come into the hospital with a 14-day history of menstrual bleeding, and 49 days since her last menstrual period. After the doctors had done ultrasounds, what they discovered was so rare, that it was a first for Dr. Narvey. When they saw the 7-week fetus on the ultrasound they were all surprised. Why? Because the baby was in the liver! How is that possible? Read on to find out.

The Doctor’s Medical First

As shocking as this might have been to those watching the TikTok it was even surprising for the doctor who had spent several years of med school. In the video, he went on to say about how ectopic pregnancies are sometimes seen in the abdomen, but never in the liver. Of course, the video quickly went viral and had been viewed by millions of people who were just as stunned. One user, who said they are an ultrasound tech, wrote that when looking for an ectopic pregnancy, the liver would be the last place they would look. Others could not believe that this was real or that something like that could happen, confused as to how a fertilized egg would end up in the liver. According to the doctor’s responses in the comments, the fetus did not survive as the liver cannot contain a pregnancy and despite the sac rapturing and the mother’s abdomen filling with blood, the woman was okay and made a recovery.

The Doctor’s Medical First

What Is An Ectopic Pregnancy?

Of course, the idea of something like that happening is frightening to anyone, not just future moms to be, though it had some asking, just what exactly is an ectopic pregnancy? It is a pregnancy in which the embryo attaches itself outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. While ectopic pregnancies are rare, they are not that rare with about 1 in every 50 pregnancies in the U.S being an ectopic one. Signs and symptoms usually include abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding but fewer than 50% of affected women have both of them. And unfortunately, save for a few rare exceptions, the fetus is unable to survive and the pregnancy has to be terminated if discovered early, due to the risk to the mother’s life. But can ectopic pregnancies get even more complicated? Read on to find out.

What Is An Ectopic Pregnancy?

Even Ectopic Pregnancies Can Be Tricky

While in most documented cases of ectopic pregnancies the egg is in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus, there have been cases where it wound up elsewhere. There is such a thing known as abdominal pregnancy, which is a rare type of ectopic pregnancy. It is estimated that it counts for 1.4% of all ectopic pregnancies. Such a pregnancy happens when an egg travels the wrong way down a fallopian tube and out in the abdomen. And while that is rare in itself, it is even rare to have a pregnancy in the upper abdomen or like in the cases described in this article, in the liver.

Even Ectopic Pregnancies Can Be Tricky

Not Everything Ends Well

While such pregnancies nearly never come to term, they do put the lives of the mothers at risk, which has been proven in the past. One such example came from a study that was published in the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock in 2012. It described a 25-year-old woman who was found to have a live 18-week fetus attached to the undersurface of her liver. The doctors operated on the woman and managed to remove the fetus, leaving the placenta in place. Tragically, the woman later died from complications during surgery due to uncontrolled bleeding. Though not all end in such tragic ways. While still being incredibly rare, there have been cases where a fetus has survived, and according to an article by the BBC News, there have only been about 4 babies born alive after the egg implanted itself in the liver. Want to find out more about such cases? Read on.

Not Everything Ends Well

Sometimes They’re Undetected

Though as it turns out, not all ectopic pregnancies are detected, as has been in the case of one woman from South Africa. Back in 2003, the world’s media were talking about 20-year-old Ncise Cwayita. The woman who was one week short of full-term had been referred to a hospital with high blood pressure. That night a sixth-year medical student who was on duty in the labor ward took care of her. As she recalled at the time, Cwayita looked like a normal pregnant woman, however, upon examination the student wasn’t able to locate the baby’s head. Later, when a doctor performed an ultrasound, it was revealed that the uterus was empty. Another consultant was brought in and they discovered that the woman had an extra-uterine pregnancy and that the egg had attached itself to her liver and despite all odds, had developed normally throughout the pregnancy.

A Successful Birth

The doctors realize it was a ticking time bomb and so they got to work and tried to figure out how to safely deliver the baby without endangering its or the mother’s life. Upon further inspection, they noticed a small area where the placenta and amniotic sac weren’t attached and so they made an incision there and the little girl’s delivery began, feet first. And while the team celebrated the successful delivery, there was little time for euphoria as soon the baby needed to be resuscitated as well as the fact that the placenta had started to bleed which the team had to take care of as well as figure out what to do with it. In the end, the doctors left the placenta and amniotic sac in the liver to reduce the risk to the mum’s life, knowing that the organ had phenomenal regenerative capacity. And so the baby Nhlahla was born and not long after, her miracle birth was reported all over the world.

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Sometimes They’re Undetected
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