Mumbai’s conjoined twins don’t require surgery urgently, say doctors

Doctors said conjoined twins are extremely rare, with one in two lakh cases across the world, and 5-25% survival rate.
Updated on Jul 30, 2016 12:17 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByAayushi Pratap, Mumbai

A set of conjoined twins — born with a common heart — will not be rushed into surgery, said doctors at the civic-run LTMG Hospital in Sion. The babies were born to a 26-year-old woman, a Sion resident, on Wednesday morning through a caesarian section.

“The babies are doing fine. A surgery is not required urgently. We are doing tests such as CT scan and MRI to check the feasibility of operating on them,” said Dr Paras Kothari, head of department, paediatric surgery, LTMG Hospital.

Read: Rare conjoined twins share heart, lungs and kidneys

“We need permission from their parents and the hospital’s ethics committee before we can operate on them. We will definitely not perform a surgery for the next 3 to 4 days,” he said.

The babies, who weigh around 4kgs, have separate heads and partially common lungs. However, they are completely fused below the abdomen.

“They have two legs and three hands. One of the hands is fused together,” said Dr Kothari.

Doctors said conjoined twins are extremely rare, with one in two lakh cases across the world; their survival rate ranges between 5% and 25%.

“In such a case, separating them is not an option. One of the babies may die,” said YS Nandanwar, head of gynaecology department, LTMG Hospital.

Only in cases where the twins share common organs like liver or kidney, there is a possibility of both surviving, he said.

The mother of the conjoined twins, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, may undergo a psychological evaluation. “We will discharge the mother in a day or two. Until now the babies were being fed from the milk bank. But the mother will soon be allowed to do so,” said Dr Nandanwar.

Past incidences of conjoined twins

  • June 2016: A set of conjoined twins with a common heart and a liver, were born to a 26-year old woman from Marathwada. They were on their way to Mumbai’s Sion Hospital for surgery. However, they did not survive
  • January 2014: Conjoined twins Riddhi and Siddhi, who were are now three-years-old, were surgically separated in 2014 at BJ Wadia Hospital, Parel. They shared a common pelvis
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