Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Conjoined twins with common liver separated successfully by AIIMS doctors

Eight months old twins Shilpa and Shaily are reported to be healthy after AIIMS doctors successfully performed a surgery to separate them. The surgery was difficult because the two babies had a common liver. The parents of the babies who hail from Madhya Pradesh could not afford the surgery and were helped by the local MP of their state.

Barely days after the surviving conjoined twin from Betul in Madhya Pradesh returned home after a year's stay at the hospital where she was operated upon, another set of Siamese twin sisters, also from Madhya Pradesh and fused in a similar way — with a common liver and pericardium — were successfully separated in AIIMS.

The eight-month-old girls, born to labourer parents in Satna district, were discharged from AIIMS on Tuesday stable and healthy.

Their lower chest and upper abdomen — including the chest bone — were joined, and they had a common liver. Thankfully, the hearts were separate, with their own respective blood supplies, enclosed within a common pericardium (a double-walled sac enclosing the heart). We essentially had to separate the sternum and pericardium, and divide the liver into two halves, before closing them up.

Doctors said the liver, being the largest solid organ in the body, contributes to 1/4 th of the body's blood supply and its separation was the most critical part of the eight-hour long surgery which was done on May 23.

A laser beam was used to cut the liver, which minimised blood loss. The doctors used an ultrasonic harmonic laser beam to slice the liver. Both girls needed only 150-1,200 ml of blood after that.

The twins were kept in the ICU, for over a month after surgery as the doctors wanted to ensure that there were no chances of infection. The babies are healthy and they will be able to normal lives. 


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