Patnaik praises AIIMS doctors for separating twins

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"It was imperative to separate them because the conjoinment was not just affecting their movement, but also their brain development".

According to the doctor, the twins are on ventilator and their condition is critical.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Pratap Jena, who was monitoring the developments from here said, after almost 11 hours of second phase surgery, heads of the twins have been separated successfully. A team of about 30 specialists from the institute's neurosurgery, neuro-anaesthesia, and plastic surgery departments were performing the operation."The surgery began at 9 am on Wednesday and was expected to last over 22 hours", said a senior doctor from AIIMS. The next 15 days would be very crucial, says the AIIMS authorities.

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"Both the children have other health issues as well. So, Jagga, who suffers from heart problems, is in a more critical condition compared to Kalia, who has kidney problems". "We have not seen our children". Though initially Jaga was healthier, now his condition has deteriorated.

He had also said that a renowned surgeon from United States who is a pioneer in cranial separation surgery was contacted. "Though they are more than two years old, they still do not speak", Mahapatra said. There were 20 surgeons and 10 anaesthesiologists involved in the 16-hour-long surgery.

The first phase of the surgery was performed on August 28 when the doctors created venous bypass to separate the veins shared by the babies that returns blood to the heart from the brain.

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The interdigitated brain - a condition in which small sections of the brains of the two babies were interlocked - posed another significant challenge to the surgeons attempting the separation. The separation surgery on craniopagus conjoined twins was conducted for the first time in the country. He revealed that after a surgery of 11 hours, the heads were separated successfully.

Neurosurgeon Deepak Gupta, who played an important role in the surgery, said the twins also had seizures during the procedure which had to be taken care of by the operating team. "We have to keep our fingers crossed", Dr A K Mahapatra, chief of AIIMS' neurosciences centre, said.

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