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Rare Surgery on Conjoined Mauritian Twins Ensures one Survives

In Health
August 06, 2019

In a rare surgery, specialists at a city hospital operated on two conjoined two-months-old Mauritian twins, who were sharing one heart with seven chambers. They managed to save the life of one of the twins, while performing South India’s first thoracopagus separation surgery.

The procedure, stenting of the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) – an opening between two blood vessels leading from the heart – was carried out at the Narayana Health City. The surviving twin, a baby girl, is named Cleanne Papillon.

Usually, conjoined twins have their bodies joined from the neck to the upper abdomen. In this case, however, their hearts were also joined. Instead of four chambers for each heart, they had seven chambers, an extremely rare case which had doctors in Mauritius shocked.

The twins’ parents were asked to consult other hospitals and they eventually decided to bring the children to Bengaluru after visiting other hospitals in Europe and Asia. A multidisciplinary team headed by a paediatric surgeon, and comprising of a pediactric cardiologist, critical care service consultant, anaesthesia consultant, and neonatology consultant, examined the babies. The doctors put them in intensive care, and once stabilized, PDA stenting was performed to improve the condition of the heart.

It was then found that one of the child was weak with poorly developed lungs and abnormal blood vessels and they could only save the healthy child.

“The survival rate in conjoined twins is minimal. In fact, the survival ratio of Siamese twins with a fused heart is even lower. The child is the ‘3rd Miracle Baby’ in the world who has survived a Thoracopagus separation surgery,” said D’ Cruz.

Cleanne’s father Ian Papillon said, “We thought we will lose both of them. Today, we have at least one of our babies with us.”