Doctors Separate Conjoined Twins in Marathon Operation - The New Indian Express

Doctors Separate Conjoined Twins in Marathon Operation

Published: 17th December 2013 07:26 AM

Last Updated: 17th December 2013 07:54 AM

When they wake up on Tuesday, Erica and Eluidi will have peacefully slept in an anaesthesia-induced slumber for 24 hours. Quite the opposite of the 40-member strong team who are battling time and exhaustion to separate the conjoined twins, and ensure they finally have a separate anus, rectum and penis. Brought in from Tanzania with their 20-year-old single mother, the 9-month-old infants were rolled into the operation theatre at Apollo Hospitals’ Vanagaram centre at 7 am on Monday. At 9.15 pm, surgeons rejoiced when they separated the twins and managed to keep their vital parameters stable.

Erica and Eluidi with their mother.

There have been 30 pysopagus twins operated on globally, of which only four were male. If completed successfully, this will be a landmark case in this part of the world. Neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, paediatric neurologists and paediatric urologists took turns along with surgical nurses and anaesthesiologists to ensure the twins’ levels stayed constant on the monitors. Half-way through the 16-hour-long surgery, the first to be attempted on male conjoined twins, surgeons were thrilled that they had gotten past the most delicate part. Speaking to Express, paediatric urologist Dr V Sripathi, the lead surgeon, said, “We’ve successfully separated the spine and the spinal cord of the twins. The nerve routes and the spinal cord were preserved gently and the tests that we have done show their nervous systems are functioning well.” He explained how they had inserted separate catheters into the pysopagus twins’ bladders to check their urine output and finally made an 8 cm incision on their bodies at 10 am.

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