Twin Sisters Jannat and Mannat were born joined at their abdomen and lower chest – a condition known medically as omphalopagus – and had a combined weight of just 6.6 lbs. They were delivered at a private hospital in Barara, a town in Ambala district, near Chandigarh, on August 27. Three-month-old conjoined twins who shared a liver have been successfully separated by doctors in India.
They were then transferred to a larger hospital Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) for specialist treatment.
Dr Ravi Kanojia, associate professor at the department of paediatric surgery and the surgeon who led the team, said the chances of their birth are ‘one in half a million. ”This is a rare case scenario and a surgeon would be fortunate to see a couple of cases in his or her lifetime,’ he said.It is the first time such a surgery has been successfully carried out at the PGIMER, the doctor said.
Doctors carried out a series of tests including CT and MRI scans to find out which organs the sisters shared. They found that the twins had a conjoined liver but thankfully, the rest of their organs were separate. Dr Kanojia said that such separation surgeries on conjoined twins are generally performed when the children are over a year old.
A 30-member team worked for eight hours to separate the twins, ensuring each baby had enough of the vital organ to live a normal life, on November 23, It was led by Dr Ravi Kanojia, assisted by paediatrics surgeon Dr Jai Kumar Mahajan.
‘While Jannat did well from the beginning, Mannat being smaller of the two had to be kept on ventilator for some time,’ Dr Kanojia said. ‘Mannat also required a minor procedure to remove the abdominal mesh in three to four months. Despite this the twins are recovering well.’
The twins’ father, Mohammad Saleem said: ‘The doctors at PGI were my last hope and nobody could have attended the twins better than the doctors at this hospital.’ His wife, Sonia, said: ‘We have been worried about our children for the last three months but God answered our prayers.’
The twins were expected to be discharged from hospital today.