Parasitic twins and vanishing twin conditions fascinate me because nature can take some freaky turns and, as someone in the medical industry, I'm proud of the things we're capable of doing nowadays to help those suffering to have productive and lengthy lives.
If you ever saw the stylish thrilled by Brian De Palma called “Sisters” and starring Margot Kidder, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen the movie—it’s a definite must-see.
Parasitic twins involve twins in which one has become attached to the other, but is nonviable and yet has to live off the nutrients and blood supply of the viable twin—at the expensive of that twin’s health. Vanishing twins are a similar condition, except in their case, the parasitic twin does not survive and is assimilated by the body of the viable twin so that it develops usually scar tissue around this “foreign” element in his/her body.
Believe it or not, the vanishing twins occur in about 1 out of every 8 multifetus pregnancies and the majority of times the host twin has no idea there is a remnant of a dead twin within. There are only about 100 documented cases of parasitic twins in the world, however.
The beautiful little sweetheart girl (above) born with four arms and four legs was believed by her village to be a hindu goddess reincarnated. Her parasitic twin was fused to her spine and was compromising her blood supply. It took exceptional surgery and bracing, but the girl is learning to walk.
Long ago, those with parasitic twins were given a death sentence. Surgery cutting off blood supplies to the parasitic twin were just too risky. Nowadays, it most can be operated on and survive quite fine.