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Chilean woman, 92, found to have decades-old fetus in abdomen

Estela Melendez, 92, said she became pregnant at the age of 17, but the fetus did not make it to term.

By
Ben Hooper
The 4.4-pound calcified fetus was discovered outside Estela Melendez's uterus in her abdomen. Portavoz Noticias/YouTube screenshot
The 4.4-pound calcified fetus was discovered outside Estela Melendez's uterus in her abdomen. Portavoz Noticias/YouTube screenshot

SAN ANTONIO, Chile, June 23 (UPI) -- A 92-year-old woman hospitalized after a fall in Chile was found to have been carrying a calcified fetus for more than 70 years.

Estela Melendez was taken to Hospital Claudio Vicuna in San Antonio after a fall and doctors performed an X-ray that discovered the 4.4-pound fetus calcified outside the woman's uterus in a condition known as lithopedion.

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Doctors said the fetus apparently died in the seventh month of pregnancy.

Hospital Director Marco Vargas Lazo said the developed fetus occupied a large portion of the woman's abdominal cavity.

Melendez was sent home after being treated for injuries from her fall. Doctors said they are unlikely to attempt to remove the fetus due to the risks the procedure would hold for someone of the woman's age.

The fetus may have been in Melendez's body for up to 75 years, as she said she became pregnant at the age of 17 but lost the baby.

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