Doctors prepare conjoined twins Sita and Gita for surgery
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 00:00

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The 18 month long struggle of Subhash Mukhia and his wife Nirmala seems to be nearing its end. With Batra Hospital, New Delhi taking up the responsibility of operating on their conjoined twins, Sita and Gita, they can now look forward to their daughters leading normal lives.

Batra Hospital has decided to bear half the cost of the surgery. The surgery costs 5 – 6 Lac rupees on an average. The twins have been admitted to the hospital and investigations to gauge the extent of the abnormalities involved are already on. This was revealed at a press conference held at Batra Hospital on Tuesday.

“The twins are joined at the waist and have common faecal and urinary tracts. Surgery in such cases is always a risky proposition. We need to make a proper assessment before taking a final call on how to go about it. Investigations are already on. Once we have the results we’ll have a clearer picture”, said Dr. Sanjeev Bagai, CEO, Batra Hospital and Research centre.

Conjoined twins known popularly as “Siamese twins” (after the Thai brothers Chang and Eng Bunker) are identical twins born fused together. It is estimated that overall 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 100,000 live births results in conjoined twins. The estimated incidence in India is believed to be 1 in 60,000 live births.

“The overall survival rate for conjoined twins is around 25%. However depending on the extent of fusion and the number of organs the twins share, survival rates may go up or down”, said Dr. Rohit Nayar, Plastic Surgeon, Batra Hospital, one of the many specialists who’ll be closely involved with the surgery.

Conjoined twins are classified according to the point at which their bodies are joined. The two may be fused at the chest (in which case they may share a heart), abdomen (with a common liver, digestive system or with shared kidneys) or head (with fused brain tissue).

It is the type of fusion, which determines how difficult separation is going to be. Sita and Gita, who are joined at the waist, have separate hearts, kidneys and livers but share a faecal and urinary tract. The twins are undergoing a battery of tests here at Batra Hospital to ascertain the nature and extent of the fusion.

“It will take us a couple of days to establish the exact anatomy of the fusion. After we have done that we will know exactly what the risks involved are. Separating the two will require a multidisciplinary team of specialists. Paediatric surgeons, orthopaedicians, plastic surgeons and other specialists will be involved. We hope to turn it into a resounding success”, said Dr. Arvind Sabbarwal, Paediatric Surgeon, Batra Hospital.

First Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 00:00

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