The eight-month-old conjoined twins, who were saved from being sacrificed by their father in May, were successfully separated during an 8-hour-long surgery at Wadia Hospital on Friday.
The condition of the girls, joined at the hip, is critical but stable and they will be under watch for 72 hours, doctors have told the parents Arun and Shalu Pawar. A team of 20 doctors was part of the operation that began at 5am.
The girls previously underwent three surgeries to prepare them for the critical operation.
The twins’ father had been convinced by a black magic practitioner that he must sacrifice the girls, but they were saved at the intervention of a neighbour. Subsequently, Wadia hospital took responsibility of their medical care. So far, it has incurred a cost of about Rs6 lakh for their treatment. “We are committed to giving the girls a healthy functional life and will bear the cost of future treatment,” said Dr Y Amdekar, hospital dean. After the operation, doctors christened the girls Riddhi and Siddhi.
“There were three parts to the surgery. The babies were anaesthetised before the common organs were separated. They shared a urinary bladder which was cut into half, so they now have separate bladders,” said Dr Pragnya Bendre, paediatric surgeon. Fortunately, there was no major fusion of bones. Between the two pelvic structures, a thin layer of cartilage had to be deftly cut to separate the twins, the doctor said. The twins were joined at the hip at 180 degrees, but had separate heads, torsos and limbs.
The girls will require at least two more surgeries before they are able to walk on their own feet.
“The pelvic bone is not located in the midline of their bodies. Their legs are spread wide, so they would have a waddling gait unless their bone structures are set right,” a senior surgeon said.
The twins had separate bowels through which they passed stool irregularly. Their excretory organs will also be reconstructed so they can pass stool normally.