Very rare Diprosopus diseasecaused a baby to be born with two mouths.
There are countless biological processes involved in the growth of a tiny baby. And sometimes parts of this complex miracle of life can develop in very different ways. Although we don’t think of the possibility of a second mouth forming, we put babies through many screenings and tests to be prepared for any unexpected situation.
During the screening of a baby in the third trimester, doctors detected a mass in the right of the baby’s mouth that they had never encountered before. However, prenatal ultrasound did not allow the team to figure out exactly what this mass was. According to estimates, this mass was either a cyst, a fibrousdysplasia or a teratoma that could occur when one twin involves the other during development.
When the baby was born, it turned out that the mass was actually a small second mouth. He even had his own lip, oral cavity, teeth, and a small tongue that synchronized with his mother tongue while he was feeding. Doctors from the Medical University of South Carolina stated in case reports that this second mouth could form a “new surface” on the skin around it and discharge a clear fluid they suspect was saliva.
Fortunately for this baby, it seemed that the extra oral cavity did not affect the baby’s breathing or feeding. The second mouth was not even attached to the first mouth.
Diprosopus disease, known as the proliferation of head and / or facial structures, is a very rare condition. And only 35 cases have been seen since 1900. The most interesting example is the double-headed cat. While a full face is repeated in this cat, when there are copies that occur only in a part of the face, these repetitions are seen in the structures of the mouth.
Although the cause is not yet known, this case is mostly seen in women. In the case report, the doctors noted that the proliferation of craniofacial structures occurs as part of a typical syndrome and is often associated with cleft lip and cleft palate, Klippel-Feil syndrome and Pierre Robin sequence.
“Our patient’s craniofacial duplication is a rare case that we can call an isolated anomaly without associated syndrome or abnormality.”
Thus, doctors were able to operate on the second mouth of the baby, who was only 6 months old. While trying to protect the facial nerves carefully during the operation, they took some muscle, bone, oral mucosa and esophageal tissue, as well as salivary glands and 6 non-growing teeth. There was no problem other than swelling in the surgical area, which recovered after a few months. The patient regained his health and no further action was required. Doctors stated that the baby may have difficulty opening the right part of the lower lip due to missing some nerves.
Diprosopus is a disease that can occur as another form of conjoined twins or by replicating a structure called the pharyngeal arch, which can form in the fourth week of human embryo development. The first of these six arches transform into the bones and muscles of our jaws and parts of the tongue, among other things.
However, the team does not believe that the pharyngeal arch theory explains this situation. And he suggests that these arch forms, like other structures, are normal. As you can see, there is much more to learn about this rare condition. And every new case we witness is almost a medical wonder for us.