NEW DELHI: After the first successful craniopagus conjoined twins separation surgery in India, wherein both the babies have survived, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said that doctors at AIIMS, Delhi had demonstrated extraordinary talent, expertise, determination and compassion.
Jagga and Balia, four and half years old, were conjoined at their skulls and were discharged from the country’s top health institution on Friday.
They are from Kandhamal, Odisha. Worldwide, only 10-15 children have survived after surgical separation of this condition in the last 50 years.
The condition that the twins had is a rare one, seen in one in 25 lakh live births, and any kind of surgical intervention in this condition is associated with a 75-80 per cent risk to the life of one or both children.
All modern adjuncts of technology for surgical planning, 3D print model technology for brain and skull model development, venous bypass, staged surgeries and continuous postoperative care were provided by the craniopagus team of over 75 doctors and 50 nursing and support team staff at AIIMS.
The first stage surgery, lasting 25 hours, involved creating a venous bypass on Balia and partial brain separation from Jagga, and was conducted on August 28, 2017. The final separation of the two children was successfully done on October 25, 2017 in an operation which lasted 20 hours.
Skin grafting and minor neurosurgical procedures were done for the twins to cover skin defects by the plastic surgery team over next few months.
After the complicated surgeries, said doctors, Jagga is developing well in all the domains on neuropsychological assessment and can join special school in Odisha immediately after going to his home state, but Balia remains neurologically disabled with profound intellectual impairment.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said that the fact that the twins from the tribal belt of Odisha survived the extensive complicated surgery presents an equally rare opportunity to study the various medical and other facets of this unique case and derive valuable learnings for further medical reference and knowledge.