Good news coming from AIIMS. The complicated surgery to separate the conjoined twins Jaga and Balia from Odisha has been successful.
The surgery, first of its kind to be attempted in India, involved a huge team of 40 doctors who began the procedure at around 9 am on Monday. The operation took almost 20 hours as it went on till 4.45 am on Tuesday. A Japanese expert was flown-in for assistance, sources said.
"The twin's brain have been separated, partially. Another surgery may be taken up in October or November to complete the process. Till then, Jaga and Baliya will continue to be under medical observation," the source added.
The surgeons have been able to partially separate the brains of the twins to create venous bypass since the two shared veins that return blood to the heart from the brain.
Jaga and Balia, the craniopagus conjoined twins, are two-years-and-four-months old. They hail from Milipada village in Kandhamal district in Odisha.
A series of pre-surgical investigations were carried out on the conjoined twins who were shifted to AIIMS on July 13.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik sanctioned Rs 1 crore from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for the treatment.
Doctors say that globally only about 50 twins joined at the head have undergone the process of surgical separation and only a few of them have survived. "Even if one of the twins is separated successfully so he can lead a normal life, it will be a big achievement," said a doctor.
Doctors are hoping that the twins will recover well post-surgery and are able to undergo another surgery so they can live a normal life. At present, both share a significant portion of the brain.
Jaga and Baliya's parents are poor farmers hence they sought help from the state.
"We are thankful that our state government came forward to help. They arranged for the transportation and other costs involved for treatment at AIIMS," said Bhuiyan Kanhar, the twin's father.