Born on September 19 last year, Love and Prince Zalte, from Mumbai, were attached from the lower part of the chest and shared a liver, intestine, bladder and pelvis.
Doctors have successfully separated conjoined twin boys in a marathon surgery that lasted 12 hours and involved 20 doctors. The surgery began at 4am on Tuesday and involved paediatric surgeons, anaesthetists and orthopaedic surgeons, among others doctors.
Seven of the hospital’s operating theatres were shut down so the team could fully focus on the surgery. The twins are recovering in intensive care and are resting in separate beds for the first time in their lives. It is unclear when they will be home.
Their mother Sheetal Zalte, 26, who learnt about their condition 24 weeks into her pregnancy, said: ‘It is hard to express in words how happy I will be to hold my children in both my arms.’
Conjoined twins are believed to occur in just one in every 200,000 live births.
Love and Prince Zalte were attached from the chest and shared a liver, intestine and bladder
The twins were separated in a marathon surgery that lasted 12 hours and involved 20 doctors
WHAT ARE CONJOINED TWINS?
Conjoined twins occur when siblings have their skin or internal organs fused together. It affects around one in 200,000 live births.
Conjoined twins are caused by a fertilised egg beginning to split into two embryos a few weeks after conception, but the process stops before it is complete.
The most common type is twins joined at the chest or abdomen. Separation surgery success depends on where the twins are joined.
Doctors can only tell which organs the siblings share, and therefore plan surgery, after they are born. At least one twin survives 75 per cent of the time.
‘I will be able to hold my children in my arms’
Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO of the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital, where the procedure took place, said: ‘At [the] tender age of one year and three months, Love and Prince underwent this complicated surgery and are currently stable in [the] paediatric intensive care unit.
‘They will be under observation for few days which will be followed by multiple surgeries to ensure they are healthy and fit to survive.’
Although the procedure was a success, Dr Bodhanwala added: ‘The most challenging part of the surgery was to provide skin to cover both the children.’
Ms Zalte said: ‘It is hard to express in words how happy I will be to hold my children in both my arms.’
Doctors had to use an artificial membrane to cover their bodies post-surgery (pictured).
Their mother Sheetal Zalte, 26, says she is so excited to be able to hold the boys in her arms.
How common are conjoined twins?
Love and Prince are the the third set of conjoined twins to be successfully separated at Wadia Hospital. Conjoined twins are believed to occur in just one in every 200,000 live births.
Approximately 40 to 60 per cent of conjoined twins arrive stillborn, while around 35 per cent survive only one day. The overall survival rate of conjoined twins is between five and 25 per cent.
The twins are recovering in intensive care and are resting in separate beds for the first time The rurgery involved paediatric surgeons and anaesthetists among others doctors (pictured)