Marathan 40-hour operation on conjoined twin Lakshmi begins

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Bangalore, Nov 6(UNI) Two-year-old conjoined twin Lakshmi, began her quest for a new life with the team of 36 doctors beginning a marathon operation today.

Specialists at Sparsh Hospitals on the outskirts of the city, who brought the baby from the poor household in remote Rampur village on Bihar-Nepal border. After 'preparing' the child for the onerous task, began the 40-hour long operation to rid Lakshmi of her headless twin having two pairs of parasitic arms and legs below the pelvis.

Sharan Patil, Director of the Hospital is leading the team of surgeons that included, noted pediatric surgeon Dr Ashley D'Cruz and Plastic and reconstruction expert Dr Ashok Rajpal.

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.

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.

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.

Lakshmi has one kidney in her body and the other in the body of the twin. The spinal cord runs through the other torso and has two excretory passages.

"The greatest challenge before us is to remove the extraneous parts and move all the structures up into Lakshmi without causing any harm to her vital organs," Dr Patil said.


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