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Odisha’s conjoined twins taken off ventilator, stable


Bhubaneswar: A day after first phase of surgery to separate Odisha’s conjoined twins, Jaga and Kalia ( also known as Honey and Singh), ended successfully at AIIMS, New Delhi, the 28-month-old siblings were taken off the ventilator today, hospital sources said.

The conjoined twins, who had undergone the 24-hour long surgery, are doing fine now and kept in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Speaking about the health condition of the children, AIIMS-Delhi Neurosurgery Department head Dr. Ashok Mahapatra said there was no blood loss or intra-operative problems during the operation and now the kids are in stable condition.

Further explaining, Mahapatra said: “The twins can take food after 2-3 days. The second phase of the multistage surgical operation would be held after one or two months depending on the condition of the duo.”

In the first round, the doctors had done the venous bypass surgery to separate the shared veins that return blood to the heart from the brain. A new bypass technique was used for the first time to separate the veins in the twins.

“The surgery was smooth and there was no major blood loss or intraoperative problems. Both the kids are united at the head as before from outside, however, a significant portion of their brain was separated,” said Dr Deepak Gupta, paediatric neurosurgeon who led the team.

It is learnt that the kids will undergo one to two more surgeries within three months for complete separation and till then they will be kept under observation.

The Odisha government had provided Rs 1 crore for treatment of the twins, whose parents are farmers and had taken from SCB Medical College and Hospital earlier due to financial problem.

This will be India’s first craniopagus surgery — surgery to separate twins joined at the cranium — at AIIMS, Delhi, Mahapatra informed.

The conjoined twins are being treated by a team of 40 specialists from various departments of AIIMS such as neurosurgery, neuro-anaesthesia and plastic surgery. The team includes Dr Ashok Kumar Mahapatra, head of neurosciences centre, Dr Deepak Gupta, professor of neurosurgery, Dr Sailesh Gaekwad from neuroradiology. Dr Mihir Prakash Pandia, Head of Department, of Neuro Anaesthesiology, Dr Girija Rath from the same department, Dr Manish Singhal of plastic and reconstructive surgery team.