A woman who received pioneering surgery at a Birmingham hospital to save her unborn baby by aborting its twin has revealed the treatment failed.

Child minder Sarah Garratt, aged 26, who lives with her husband Neil and their three children in Meden Vale, Nottinghamshire, had the operation at the Birmingham Women's Hospital.

She had been suffering from an extremely rare syndrome known as Twin Reverse Arterial Perfusion, or Trap, which affects one in every 30,000 pregnancies.

It meant that one of her unborn identical twins had no organs, a head or torso, even though it had been growing and was able to move. It had been draining the life from its healthier twin.

The healthy baby's life was at risk as its heart was having to pump blood around the other twin.

During the operation, doctors blocked the blood supply between the two but the surgery failed and the abnormal baby is still growing and has become bigger than the healthy baby.

Mrs Garratt has described the situation affecting her healthy baby, which she now knows is female, as surreal.

"Although the abnormal twin is not alive in any sense, it has latched back on to the healthy baby.

"The amniotic fluid has got under its skin and made it bigger.

"I can have surgery again but it would be more intrusive than the last procedure and would mean cutting the blood vessels linking the two with miniature scissors, with a risk of miscarriage.

"The doctors have decided that a wait-and-see approach is better. It all depends what happens in the next two weeks."

Mrs Garratt said she was dismayed to find out how little was known about the condition. She said: "No one seems to know much about it. I thought someone in my village would say they had had it and everything was fine, but no one had.

"My midwife had never heard of it and was really shocked."

A spokeswoman for the Birmingham Women's Hospital said the procedure was extremely difficult and the doctors were unable to predict the outcome.