NEW DELHI: Doctors at the Medanta Hospital here successfully separated conjoined twin girls sharing a common liver.
The liver specialists at Medanta accomplished this surgical feat recently, giving a new lease of life to two-month-old Saboora and Safoora, who were joined at the abdomen and shared a liver since birth. Liver Institute chairman and chief liver surgeon A.S. Soin, who led a team of nearly 40 doctors, said “This was one of the most challenging surgeries of my career. For one, there was the fear of the unknown — there is no described anatomy of a liver that is shared between two humans and there is no standard technique to split it.”
“The second and the bigger challenge was that before the operation, the twins were healthy and happy , and their parents had grown accustomed to their conjoined existence. A minute error would have left things much worse.”
He added that the separation of the common organ was fraught with the risk of bleeding and the danger of landing up with an inadequately functioning liver in one or both girls.
Neelam Mohan, director of paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and liver transplant, whose team took care of the girls before and after the operation, said: “Preparing the twins for surgery was a unique challenge, too, as they needed improvisation even for simple procedures like blood sampling, X rays and scans.”
“Apart from the liver, it was important to rule out possible communications of the two hearts and the covering of the lung and the intestines as that would have changed the surgeons’ plan completely,” she noted.
Dr. R. Khazanchi led the plastic surgery team that reconstructed the abdomen in both to give them a cosmetically acceptable scar, with new belly buttons.