In what was a marathon surgery which had caught the attention of almost the entire country, conjoined twin brothers Jaga and Kalia from Odisha were successfully separated at AIIMS, New Delhi on Wednesday. Both the brothers are stated to be stable but will remain under observation for the next 72 hours. The entire state is praying for their recovery now.
A team of 30 doctors from various departments, including neurosurgery, neuro-anesthesia and pediatrics, led by renowned neurosurgeon from Odisha Dr. Ashok Mohapatra, took almost 11 hours to successfully complete the second phase of the surgery of the twins, aged around two and a half years.
The craniopagus twin brothers from Kandhamal have been in news ever since their critical and rare condition was highlighted by the media. The state government had flung into action to provide all possible help and treatment to the family. Although the initial treatment had started from SCB Medical, they were shifted to AIIMS, Delhi for further treatment and in the month of August, they had gone through the first phase of the surgery, which had taken around 24 hours.
In the first phase, for the first time, a new bypass technique was used to separate the veins in the twins. The venous bypass surgery was done to separate the shared veins that return blood to the heart from the brain. A team of 40 doctors, led by pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Deepak Gupta, was involved in the surgery.
This will be India’s first successful craniopagus surgery — surgery to separate twins joined at the cranium, if the twins can survive the critical period. Till now, only 50 such surgeries have happened across the world.
Expressing happiness at the successful separation of the conjoined twins, Health Minister Pratap Jena told MCL, “This is one of the happiest moments for all of us. We were very sure that we wanted no obstacle in the treatment of the twin brothers and that is why the government was prepared to bear all expenses. The Chief Minister had already donated a crore of rupees in the initial stage. And for the coordination of the entire procedure, we had also deployed a person from our department at the AIIMS, New Delhi. I am happy that the brothers are fine and I hope they recover soon.”
Talking to MCL, father Bhuyan Kanar of the twin brothers said, “This is a very happy moment for me. I had no idea that something like this is possible in medical science. I had never expected that I can see my kids separated. But I had faith on God and his miracles and that is why I had kept their names based on Lord Jagannath. I am really thankful to our government and the media for making this possible. Although their condition is stable now, we will have to be careful for the next 15 days and follow all instructions of the doctors.”