Two In One: Jaga-Balia Stable And Off Ventilator In AIIMS-New Delhi ICU

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New Delhi: Craniopagus is a very rare condition wherein twins are joined at the head and have a very high risk of survival and even the separation surgical operation is very risky.

Twentyseven-months-old Jaga and Balia, original name Honey and Singh, born to Bhuan Kanhar and Puspanjali Kanhar of Milipada village under Phiringia block in Kandhamal district, are one such conjoined twins.

And truly brave and equally dedicated are all the superspecialists of the 40-member team of doctors of the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi who are virtually on their toes for the last two months ever since Jaga and Balia were admitted to the hospital referred by the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

The doctors have been virtually burning mid-night oil for the last three days eve since Jaga and Balia were taken to the operation theatre for the extremely risky and critical separation surgery.
The initial surgery went on non-stop for over 24 hours and Jaga and Balia were then kept on ventilator in the ICU on August 29 morning.

The twins are off the ventilator now and would remain in the ICU for next 48 to 72 hours which means drip feeding is on. They are stable much to the happiness of their parents and the doctors. Good news is the twins can have normal diet after they are out of the ICU.

Yet, Jaga and Balia continue to remain joined at the heads.

The twins will have to undergo one to two more operations within next three months for final separation.

Team leader Pediatric Neurosurgeon Professor Deepak Gupta informed that the media,”Phase one surgical operation constituting venous bypass surgery to separate their shared veins has been successfully done. However, their heads are still joined.”

“Many of the interior parts of the brain have been separated and a new venous bypass channel has been created inside them,” added Dr Deepak Gupta.

Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, Professor Prof Ashok Mahapatra, who hails from Odisha, informed that there was no loss of blood or intra-operative complications during the grueling operation and the twins are absolutely stable.

Sixty percent of the initial phase of operation is over. The second phase of the multistage surgery would be done after one or two months depending on the condition of the kids,” informed an elated Professor Ashok Mahapatra.

The phase one surgery began early morning on August 28 and finished at 6.30 am on August 29 lasting over 24 hours. A team of 40 surgeons including experts from Japan were involved in the surgery.

It is worth mentioning that this is the first ever separation surgery of conjoined twins attempted in India and the medical fraternity of the entire world are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the multistage operation.

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