11-Month-Old Conjoined Twins Separated At Delhi AIIMS In 9-Hour Surgery

The surgery at AIIMS went on for nearly nine hours, the doctors said (File)

New Delhi:

Doctors at the AIIMS in Delhi have successfully separated conjoined twins – Riddhi and Siddhi – joined from the chest and upper part of their belly.

They were diagnosed prior to birth as thoraco-omphalopagus conjoined twins in the fourth month of Deepika Gupta’s pregnancy. Dr Minu Bajpai, the head of department of Paediatric Surgery, said. Ms  Gupta is from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. 

Subsequently, the two sisters were referred to AIIMS, Dr Bajpai said.

The two children were born last year on July 7 and were in the ICU for five months. They were separated on June 8 in a nine-hour surgery.

The twins celebrated their first birthday at the hospital.

“The anomaly was peculiar with fused rib cages, livers, partially common diaphragms, and fused pericardium. Both hearts were very close to each other, almost touching and beating in contact. The pericardium was partially fused,” Dr Prabudh Goel, Additional Professor in the Department of Paediatric Surgery, said.

The two were operated on when they were just 11 months old – enough to tolerate the trauma of surgery, Dr Goel said.

The surgery went on for nearly nine hours and coupled with pre- and post-surgical anesthesia time, it was 12 and a half hours, Dr Bajpai said.

“The steps in the surgery involved the separation of the common abdominal and chest walls, division of liver tissue in a way that sufficient tissue remained for each baby, and a division of fused rib cage. It also involved separation of the diaphragm, and of pericardium,” Dr Bajpai said.

Surgical repair was completed for each twin separately, Dr Goel added.

Prosthetic tissues and grafts were kept available for possible use. However, these were not required since the infants had enough native tissues to complete the repair successfully, he stated.

The two continue to be in the hospital but are doing well, much to the relief of their parents Deepika and Ankur Gupta.

“We were very worried during the surgery. But our girls have got a new lease of life,” Mr Gupta said.

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