City hospital to perform 40-hour operation on conjoined twin

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Bangalore, Nov 5 (UNI) For 2-year-old conjoined twin Lakshmi from Bihar, it will be the a test of the life time when she undergoes a marathon 40-hour operation tomorrow to get rid of her two pairs of parasitic arms and legs below the pelvis.

The specialists at Sparsh hospital on the outskirts of the city brought the baby, daughter of a poor couple from the tiny village Rampur bordering Nepal in Ahraria district of Bihar, to their hospital to perform the complicated operation, perhaps for the first time in India, Dr Sharan Patil, Director of the hospital said.

Speaking to reporters, he said such operations would have to be done in one sitting and a 36-member team would begin the challenging task tomorrow morning.

Lakshmi, a ischiopagus twin, is actually two bodies united at the pelvis. Only one of the twins had a head and the other a parasite.

Two pairs of legs and arms formed at either end of the two adjoining torsos, creating a child with eight limbs. The incidence of conjoined twins was one in 50,000, while Lakshmi's kind of twin forms only three per cent of all types of conjoined babies, he said.

The baby's mother Poonam, who married Shambu six years ago, had given birth to Lakshmi, her second child, in her mother's home without any form of medical supervision, and neither did she receive any antenatal care during her pregnancy.

When Lakhmi was born she invoked tremendous curiosity in the village and the surrounding area with people believing that she was the reincarnation of Goddess Lakshmi.

Dr Ashley D'Cruz, a noted pediatric surgeon, who is part of the surgery team, explained that the one each of the baby's two kidneys were in the two bodies and the doctors would bring the kidney in parasitic structure to the main body.

Plastic and reconstruction expert Dr Ashok Rajpal said Lakshmi needed extensive replacement of tissues and skin from her parasitic body, while Neurosurgeon Dr Thimmappa Hegde said reconstructing the vein system which was common in the two bodies would be the most challenging task.


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