(Newser) – Jyoti Kumar went to the doctor after she started experiencing constant abdominal pain—and experts in the Indian city of Nagpur discovered the cause was a baby skeleton that had been inside her for 38 years.
Kumar, 62, had an ectopic pregnancy when she was 24, and was told the fetus—growing outside of her womb—would likely not survive, the International Business Times reports.
At some point, "She apparently knew that the baby had died and that she would need an operation," but she was scared of surgery and fled the hospital, instead opting to get treatment for her abdominal pain at a small clinic, her doctor says, according to the Daily Mail. When the pain came back decades later, however, she allowed doctors to remove the skeleton, which was inside a calcified sac, from her abdomen.
"We found a lump on the lower right side of her abdomen, and feared it was cancer. A CT scan then revealed that the lump was made of hard, calcified matter," one of the doctors says. "But it was only after the patient underwent an MRI that we could make out that the mass was in fact a child's skeleton. The amniotic fluid that protects the fetus might have been absorbed and the soft tissues liquefied over time with only a bag of bones with some fluid remaining."
The mass was removed from between Kumar's uterus, intestines, and bladder. Doctors believe it is the world's longest ectopic pregnancy; prior to this, the longest known case involved a Belgian woman who had the remains removed after 18 years.