Doctors sceptical on survival of one of craniopagus twins

Odisha's Cranipagus twins after the final separation surgery at AIIMS
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New Delhi– Odisha’s craniopagus (joined at the head) infant twins were successfully separated at the AIIMS here in a 16-hour surgery but the 30-member medical team on Thursday seemed sceptical about survival of one of the kids, in view of his deteriorating health.

Citing the criticality of the case, the doctors said the next 18 days were extremely critical to ascertain the success of the surgery.

Odisha’s Cranipagus twins after the final separation surgery at AIIMS

“The children have been separated. There were many challenges in this surgery which were never seen before,” All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Neurosurgery Department chief A.K. Mahapatra told the media here.

“Though we had assumed some of the challenges but these were quite more. During the surgery, a total of 3.5 litres blood were also lost.”

The marathon surgery for the two and a half years old Jaga and Kalia had begun on Wednesday at 6 a.m. and got over on Thursday 3 a.m.

Asked if the chances of survival for both the kids were the same, Mahapatra said that Jaga was more fragile health-wise and his condition was more critical currently.

“Both the kids have other health issues as well. While Jaga has heart issues, Kalia has kidney problems,” Mahapatra told IANS.

“Though initially Jaga was healthier, now he is the one whose condition has deteoriated. Kalia is better.”

The second phase of surgery had to be done before the scheduled time as the health of Jaga deteriorated.

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, who was also present at the press meet, said that the medical team was putting extra post-operative efforts for the improvement of the children as the chances of them catching infection was high.

The twins, whose cranium were fused, were brought to AIIMS on July 14 from Milipada village in Odisha’s Kandhamal district.

The first phase of the surgery, where experts from Japan were also present, was done on August 28. In it, a new bypass technique was used for the first time to separate the twins.

Elaborating the challenges during the surgery, Guleria said: “There was a situation in which one of the kids did not have blood nerves, which had to be created. The skin grafting was also done and later extra care had to be taken for the blood, nutrition and overall health of the two so that they could undergo the surgery.” Each of the twins also needed 20 units of blood.

Neurosurgeon Deepak Gupta, who played an important role in the surgery, said that both of them also had seizures which was to be taken care of.

“Such cases are 1 in 25 lakh children. 80 per cent of them die during the treatment,” he said.

Though the Odisha government has sanctioned Rs 1 crore for the surgery at AIIMS, the institution said that they are not charging the parents for several procedures and treatment. (IANS)


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