Conjoined twins: 20-month-olds ready to go home six weeks after separation surgery in Mumbai

The twins were separated surgically at Wadia hospital in December and are ready to

mumbai Updated: Feb 05, 2018 17:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai twins,Conjoined twins,Wadia hospital
Twins Love and Prince and their parents Sheetal and Sagar Zalte were introduced to media at Wadia hospital in Mumbai, on Monday, February 5.(Bhushan Koyande/HT Photh)

Conjoined twins Love and Prince were discharged from Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, Parel, on Monday, six weeks after they were separated surgically. Now, the 20-month-olds can even stand without support.

The twins, born to a 26-year old woman at Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital in Parel on September 19, 2016, were separated on December 12, 2017, after a series of complex surgeries.

In what doctors termed as an extremely rare birth – one in over five lakhs – the twins had a common liver, urinary bladder, intestines and fused pelvic bones. A doctor from Wadia hospital said that medically they were referred to as ‘xi phi-omphalo-ischiopagus tetrapus tetrapus’ conjoined twins.

After the surgery, their abdomen regions, which were exposed, was covered in a surgical mesh to prevent infection, and collagen and skin implants were inserted to allow new skin to grow under the mesh. Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia hospitals, said the babies were given sections of their shared liver, which will continue to grow till they reach adulthood.

The 40-cm-long intestine that they shared was divided, as was the urinary bladder. Doctors initially suspected that bladder control might prove to be a complication after surgery, but the twins have already gained control over their bowel movements.

“They have gone through an uneventful but long post-operative recovery. They were on ventilator for a week and in the ICU for three weeks,” said a doctor from the hospital, who did not wish to be named. “Wound management was an ordeal as the abdomen was kept open and covered only by mesh. They had to undergo multiple dressings under anaesthesia with vacuum dressings and collagen applications, but they recovered miraculously without complications.”

As follow-up, doctors have designed a multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme to monitor their growth, development, nutrition, liver function, immunisation and exercise regime for their lower limbs.

The toddlers will have to go through one more surgery in the future. “One more surgery will be performed, after a year or so, for bone reconstruction (osteotomy) with a revision of the abdominal closure, and they will be ready to literally run to school,” said Dr Bodhanwala.

“This is the third successful case in a row for us, where we have separated conjoined twins. This was quite a challenging case, but the medical team and the nursing staff took excellent care of the patients, and now they are set to go home,” Dr Bodhanwala added.

Their parents, Sheetal and Sagar Zalte, who hail from Gujarat but currently live in Ghatkopar, said they are thrilled to see their sons standing. “The operative procedure was very challenging, but it was done seamlessly in the hospital. The hospital has not charged us a single penny. We will be thankful to Wadia hospital for the rest of our lives,” said Sheetal.

Until the eighth month of gestation, the Zaltes said, they did not know that they would be having twins. “So my husband and I would keep fighting over names. If we had a son, I wanted to name him Prince, but my husband wanted to name him Love. Eventually, both our wishes came true, and we now have both Love and Prince,” Sheetal said.

First Published: Feb 05, 2018 17:08 IST