April 26, 2016
“We were somewhat prepared for the death of the babies as the brain was fused and surgery to separate the brain is impossible,” said Dr Kirtan Vyas, an assistant professor in the gynecology ward of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Government Medical College – the hospital that performed the Cesarian section birth of the twins.
“We had informed the family in advance of the severe complications,” Vyas added.
“This hospital has been going for 140 years and there’s only been around three to four cases of conjoined twins.
“But this case of conjoined twins was an even more shocking one. The babies were extremely rare looking.”
Although the condition is highly unusual, it is one that would typically be diagnosed within the expectant mother’s first trimester. Due to intense poverty in India, mothers typically do not receive a checkup until later in the pregnancy, as was the case in this situation. It wasn’t until seven months into a typical, smooth pregnancy that the mother had her first ultrasound and was given the heartbreaking news.
Born weighing 2lbs 6oz, the twins shared a face and brain but each had their own heart, arms and legs.
The father and mother, who have chosen to remain anonymous, donated the bodies of their children to medical research. The mother is back at home and is said to be doing well physically despite the tragic circumstances.
Twins born with conjoined necks and heads but separate bodies are known as Cephalopagus conjoined twins, an abnormality that occurs in one of out of every one million births and in one of every 58 sets of conjoined twins.
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