Indian Man’s Mirror Image Is No Illusion
When you stand in front of a mirror, it appears as if your right arm is in fact your left arm, and vice versa. It’s a peculiar experience, but you and I both know that it’s merely an optical illusion. There is, however, no illusion involved with Ashok Shivnani’s “situs inversus,” a condition wherein his major visceral organs are in the mirror opposite position of where they ought to be.
Ashok, a 64-year-old resident of Mumbai, was initially scheduled to have a 7cm-long tumor removed from his right kidney. It was after an X-ray was performed on him that his doctors realized something was not quite right. They discovered, in fact, that his aorta and inferior vena cava (IVC) were reversed. Plus Ashock has two livers, a stunted large intestine, and no small intestine—not to mention the tumor-infected kidney.
Even more shocking is the fact that Ashok had no clue about his unique condition, despite having survived two hernia operations, and having been inspected for chronic lung disease as well. He said, “Never in my life did I know that my body was different.”
According to doctors, Ashok is the only known individual on Earth to sport “such a haphazard abdominal structure.”
Thankfully, Ashok will not require treatment for his condition. “Generally, people suffering from situs invertus lead a fairly asymptomatic life,” said Dr. Desai. “This is also the case with Shivnani. He will not need any surgery to change the positions of the organs and veins.”
He will, however, still need to get that pesky tumor removed!
For more information and an inside look into Ashok’s life, check out the video clip below.