Marathon surgery to separate conjoined twins begins


New Delhi : In a rare and difficult surgery, a team of 27 doctors Monday started operating to separate 18-month-old Siamese twins Geeta and Sita in the Indian capital.

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The surgery started in the morning at Batra Hospital here and is expected to get over before midnight. The twins are from Bihar and their parents are labourers.

The twins were born with congenital structural abnormalities of being joined at the waist, hip and legs with a common genito-urinary and intestinal system, Sanjeev Bagai, a senior doctor and chief executive of the hospital, said.

“We have not taken any help from anyone outside our hospital as we were in a structural position to carry out the surgery,” Bagai told IANS.

“There are 27 doctors from seven disciplines who are now busy inside the operation theatre. We had tested the twins for seven days before shifting them to the theatre and we hope it will be a success,” he said, adding that the surgery is expected to last 15 hours.

The Siamese twins, as they are medically called, are extremely rare and very few reach the surgery stage. The long term success in many international centres is less than 50 percent.

“This attempt by our doctors emphasizes that Indian doctors are superior both in technology and efficiency to many of their counterparts abroad,” Bagai said.

“We will know the result of the surgery by tomorrow (Tuesday). If everything goes well, the kids will have to stay in hospital up to four weeks,” the chief executive officer of the hospital added.