City hospital to perform 40-hour operation on conjoined twins

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

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, for the first time in India, as Dr Sharan Patil, Director of the hospital claimed before newspersons.

Speaking to newspersons, he said such operations would have to be done at one go and a 36-member team would take up the challenging task tomorrow morning.

Lakshmi, a ischiopagus twin, is actually two bodies joined 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, thus appearing as a child with eight limbs. The incidence of conjoined twins was one in 50,000, while this kind of twins form 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. She did not 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 paediatric surgeon, who is part of the surgery team, explained that one of the baby's two kidneys was 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. Neurosurgeon Dr Thimmappa Hegde said reconstructing the venous system which was common to the two bodies would be the most challenging task.


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