Bangalore, India : Conjoined Nigerian twins delivered at a Lagos, Nigeria hospital on the 8th of May 2017, have undergone a successful separation surgery at Narayana Health Hospital, Bangalore, India – in a marathon operation that involved 22 specialists.
Obinna and Amarachi Ugwuoke, who already had two children, were shocked on seeing their twin babies, James and John, shortly after delivery. They’re fused at the stomach.
The infants, who already defied medical expectations by surviving for so long, were classed as omphalopagus twins due to where they were attached.
These types of conjoined twins share part of gastrointestinal system and abdominal wall, doctors state.
Conjoined twins, who arise from a single embryo, strike just one in every 100,000 births, according to medical literature.
Survival rates are very low, about half of them may die before birth and another 25 per cent soon after. Only a quarter survive in infancy.
Unlike normal twins, they fail to separate in the womb and the pair end up joined together at some parts of their body.
Births of conjoined twins, whose skin and internal organs are fused together, are rare.
They are believed to occur just once in every 100,000 live births.
Approximately 40 to 60 percent of conjoined twins arrive stillborn, and about 35 percent survive only one day.
The overall survival rate of conjoined twins is somewhere between 5 percent and 25 percent.
Medical scans revealed James and John, who have since made an ‘unremarkable recovery’ only shared a liver.
Their parents, Obinna and Amarachi Ugwuoke, were referred to Narayana Health Hospital in Bangalore for surgery. The hospital had already separated six conjoined twins.
A statement issued by the hospital chain revealed their family had done an ‘excellent job’ caring for them and they were in good health.
Surgeons were able to divide their liver into two pieces, allowing both children to keep part of the vital organ – which can grow back on its own.
Dr Sanjay Rao, senior consultant at the hospital, said: ‘The main factor influencing success of treatment is the shared anatomy and organs.
‘The goal of surgery is to achieve a safe separation and to have two normal children with no morbidity and disability. The operation was successfully done by an interdisciplinary team consisting of six surgeons, six anesthetists, four anesthetic technicians, six nurses amongst others.’ he said.
He praised the ‘careful planning and coordination’ between various teams that were involved in separating James and John.