Jaga and Balia, from Milipada village in Kandhamal district in Odisha, are craniopagus conjoined twins. The children, who are two-years-and-four-months old, are joined at the head, a very rare occurrence.
Odisha’s health and family welfare minister Pratap Jena informed mediapersons that the twins were taken into operation theatre early this morning and surgery started at about 9 am.
Apart from specialists in neurosurgery, cosmetic surgery, cardiology and paediatrics, experts from Japan have been roped in to carry out the surgery.
“The surgery will be conducted in two stages. The first phase started on Tuesday and would take more than seven hours. The next phase would be taken up a few days later,” Jena said.
A series of pre-surgical investigations were carried out on the conjoined twins. The twins 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 of Bhuan and Puspanjali Kanhar.
While conjoined twins are known to occur in about every 2,00,000 births, craniopagus twins are rarer still, accounting for about only two per cent.