NEW DELHI: After spending almost two years at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Jagga and Balia, the conjoined twins from Odisha’s Kandhamal district were finally discharged from the hospital after undergoing complicated surgeries for separation of their heads.
The twins boarded a train to Cuttack where they will undergo further assistance at Srirama Chandra Bhanja Medical College and Hospital. They are accompanied by a nurse from the AIIMS and a team of three doctors which includes a neurosurgeon, a neuro anesthetists, and a pediatrician, while on the train journey.
The team of doctors who operated on the twins was highly praised by the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan for the success of this surgery on a craniopagus conjoined twin separation surgery which is a first in India where both the children survived. This surgery is being hailed as a ‘rarest of the rare’ surgery.
The health minister asserted the fact that after this surgical separation procedure only 10 to 15 children have survived worldwide in the last 50 years. This very rare condition is seen only in one in 25 lakh live births and poses a 75-80% risk to life to one or both the children in case of any surgical intervention.
The mother of the twins, Pushpanjali, talked about how Jagga and Balia could barely speak or understand Hindia when they were brought to AIIMS in 2017 but now they can talk in Hindi and Jagga has even learned the basic alphabets from the doctors over there.
Dr. Deepak Gupta, professor of neurosurgery spoke about the present condition of the twins and said that though Balia remains neurologically disabled, requires long-term rehabilitation care and is fed by a special tube, Jagga is gradually gaining weight, developing properly in all domains of neuropsychological assessment and will be able to join school after his return to home.
Their head separation was conducted on August 28, 2017, and involved two stages. In the first stage which lasted 25 hours, a venous bypass was created on Balia and a partial brain separation from Jagga took place. The final operation lasted 20 hours and was done on October 25.