WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Indian doctors have given a new lease of life to a baby girl who was born with a head attached to her stomach.

They managed to remove the appendage of her parasitic twin in a complicated four-hour operation at JK Lone Hospital, in Jaipur.

It was feeding off of her blood supply - depriving her of vital nutrients needed for her healthy development, surgeons said.

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As well as being born with an extra head, which had no ears and eyes due to being partly developed, the infant also had a third hand.

An unnamed 21-year-old woman presented herself to doctors at the Ram Snehi Hospital, in Jahazpur, after experiencing pain during her pregnancy.

She was immediately referred for a sonography scan and an ultrasound and were told that she was carrying twins - but were unaware they would be parasitic.

Unlike conjoined twins, one is incompletely formed or wholly dependent on some bodily functions of the complete foetus.

Cases of parasitic twins are rare and believed to account for just one per one million live births, according to medical literature.

Dr Vijiyeta Garg, a gynaecologist who looked after the woman, assured the family that both mother and child could be saved.

However, her 24-year-old husband, who works as a farmer, insisted that her life was a priority and the baby should come second.

After a successful Caesarean section, the family were relieved that both managed to survive before the child was referred to JK Lone Hospital - 540km away.

The operation on April 26 proved to be a success - despite the young couple believing they would lose their first child, local reports suggest.

PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: The baby with the head of the parasitic twin attached ) - Doctors in India have given a new lease of life to a newborn girl after removing the head of her parasitic twin that was feeding off on her blood supply. The bay girl, yet to be named, was born via caeserean section and weighed only 5 pounds, at a private hospital in Bhilwada in Rajasthan in northern India on April 26th to a farmer couple. But the medics were shocked to see the baby with an extra head complete with eyes, ears, nose and lips and a malformed left hand hanging down her chest. SEE CATERS COPY
PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: The baby with the head of the parasitic twin attached ) - Doctors in India have given a new lease of life to a newborn girl after removing the head of her parasitic twin that was feeding off on her blood supply. The bay girl, yet to be named, was born via caeserean section and weighed only 5 pounds, at a private hospital in Bhilwada in Rajasthan in northern India on April 26th to a farmer couple. But the medics were shocked to see the baby with an extra head complete with eyes, ears, nose and lips and a malformed left hand hanging down her chest. SEE CATERS COPY

Dr Pravin Marthur, of the hospital's paediatric unit, said: "This is one of the rarest cases of parasitic twin.

"The parents told us the mother had undergone sonography and other tests but were not told about carrying an underdeveloped twin.

"They were shattered when they saw the baby. We had to convince them to give us a nod for the surgery to save their daughter's life.

"After immediate consultation with a team of radiologist and support from assistant professors, we successfully removed the head from the viable child."

The hospital did not charge the family for any health or surgery costs. The baby is recovering well and is being breastfed and will be discharged later this week.

PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: The baby in recovery after the operation ) - Doctors in India have given a new lease of life to a newborn girl after removing the head of her parasitic twin that was feeding off on her blood supply. The bay girl, yet to be named, was born via caeserean section and weighed only 5 pounds, at a private hospital in Bhilwada in Rajasthan in northern India on April 26th to a farmer couple. But the medics were shocked to see the baby with an extra head complete with eyes, ears, nose and lips and a malformed left hand hanging down her chest. SEE CATERS COPY
PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: The baby in recovery after the operation ) - Doctors in India have given a new lease of life to a newborn girl after removing the head of her parasitic twin that was feeding off on her blood supply. The bay girl, yet to be named, was born via caeserean section and weighed only 5 pounds, at a private hospital in Bhilwada in Rajasthan in northern India on April 26th to a farmer couple. But the medics were shocked to see the baby with an extra head complete with eyes, ears, nose and lips and a malformed left hand hanging down her chest. SEE CATERS COPY

Parasitic twins are usually a result of a delay in the separation of embryos during conception.

They are formed when one embryo maintains a dominant development at the expense of the other.