Jagga and Baliya — the twin brothers from Odisha who were joined at the head — are stable and recovering, doctors at AIIMS who recently separated the two said.
New Delhi : Jagga and Baliya are in the ICU and a large team of specialists and paramedical staff is looking after them. Jagga, doctors said, is on intermittent hemodialysis and his kidney function is improving. The vital parameters of Balia are normal, but he is yet to gain consciousness, they added.
According to Dr A K Mahapattra, chief of AIIMS’ neurosciences centre, 85% to 90% of twins joined at the head die. “It was an achievement to separate them successfully. But there are many more potential complications to deal with and the next few days are going to be very crucial,” he said.
Dr Deepak Gupta, senior neurosurgeon who led the surgery, along with Dr Mahapatra, said Jagga’s kidney function is improving with dialysis but his heart function is still compromised. “We will be do an echocardiogram on Monday to assess his heart condition,” he added.
Balia, the second child, has still not gained consciousness. Doctors said the twins shared veins that return blood to the heart from the brain. In the first phase of the surgery to separate them, neurosurgeons created an artificial venous graft for one of them while the other retained the primary vein. “Balia, who has got the venous graft, is suffering from recurrent seizures. He is on medicines to control them,” said a doctor. The two, aged two years and five months, were admitted to AIIMS on July 13.Twins joined at the head are very rare, occurring once in 25 million live births, and even rarer is them sharing the vein carrying blood back from the brain to the heart. Worldwide, there have been very few successful surgeries to separate such twins.
The AIIMS doctors did the surgical separation in two phases, each taking nearly 20 hours. “We practised the surgery on a 3D print model several times before the actual surgery. It helped us understand the vessel anatomy and how to cut the brain precisely,” said Dr Gupta. One Japanese expert was also called in for the first phase of the surgical separation.