Twin girls conjoined at the abdomen and sharing a liver and umbilical cord were born at Delhi’s Kasturba Hospital on Saturday night.
Conjoined twins are extremely rare -- only one in 2 lakh babies born are conjoined – and very few survive beyond the first few days of birth because of complications.
Conjoined twins develop when an early embryo only partially separates and form two babies. The twins most often remain joined at the chest, abdomen or pelvis.
“The woman came to us in labour. She was not registered with us and her ultrasonography from other labs showed that it was twins,” said Dr Anil Kumar Duggal, consultant and incharge of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), who has been looking after the babies.
The woman was taken inside for an emergency caesarian section delivery.
“Once the babies were delivered we realised that the babies were joined at the abdomen. They shared the umbilical cord,” said Dr Duggal.
They had to be taken to the NICU immediately as they had breathing problem and almost went into a circulatory shock.
The birth-weight of the babies together was 4.2kg. A healthy baby weighs 2.5 kg or more.
An ultrasonography done the day after the delivery showed that the babies shared the liver.
“Both the babies share equal blood supply and are healthy. Surgeons can divide the liver between them. Since the liver has regenerative properties, both the babies can survive with half of it. They have been moved to Lok Nayak hospital for further treatment,” said Dr Maruti Sinha, senior consultant of gynaecology at the hospital.