The surgical separation of a pair of Pygopagus twin boys at the Apollo Specialty Hospital in Vanagaram will be the first-ever attempted in India.
Prayers are indeed necessary for the survival and speedy recovery of nine-month-old Ericana and Eluidi, hailing from Kasumulu village in Tanzania, who are joined at the tail-end of their spines and share a single anus and rectum, for they will be undergoing an 18-hour-long ordeal at the operating table.
According to Dr Venkat Sripathi, Senior Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, conjoined twins are seen in one in 200,000 deliveries, with 60 per cent of them being stillborn and 35 per cent of the remaining dying within a few days or months of birth. “However, fusion at the buttocks (Pygopagus) is very rare and account for less than 17 per cent of all conjoined twins,” he said at a media briefing here on Friday.
“Till now in medical literature, only 30 sets of Pygopagus twins have been reported, out of which 26 are female and only four are male,” he pointed out.
The male twins arrived at the Apollo Hospitals for surgical separation under a joint project ‘Save a child’s heart initiative’ with the Tanzanian government. The cost of the surgery, estimated to be around `30-40 lakh, will be met by the Tanzanian government.
Dr Sripathi said the unique and challenging aspect of the separation was the fused phallus, which had to be delicately separated to give each baby a functional penis. A team of 20 doctors from the specialties of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, paediatric surgery and paediatric urology would attempt the separation. “The twins have a 75 per cent chance of survival,” he said to a query.
Awaiting their most transforming moments in their life, the bubbly boys have learnt to speak Tamil from the nurses and lisp words such as athai and thatha.
Source; New Indian Express