Mumbai: These moving pictures show conjoined twins sharing kiss moments after they were born fused together.
Delivered in Mumbai, India, last week, the boys have separate brains and spinal cords but share all the other vital organs – including the heart, kidneys and liver. Doctors at Sion Hospital have warned the twins are unlikely to survive surgery because of how they are joined.
Despite currently having no breathing difficulties, a CT and MRI scan revealed only one of the newborns has lungs. While experts at the hospital have delivered several conjoined twins in the past, these are unusual as they share one heart and neck – making it harder to separate them.
Dean of the hospital, Dr Suleiman Merchant, said: ‘These conjoined twins have a very complex internal architecture. While they have two separate heads and necks, they are joint from the thorax, that is the part between the neck and the abdomen, and so are completely fused below the umbilicus level. Overall, rarely 5-25 per cent of these babies survive. This type of case rarely survives surgery, and without surgery no baby survives.”
Shahin Khan gave birth to the twins – who have two legs and three hands and weighed 9.9lbs – by Caesarean section two months early. An ultrasound revealed the 26-year-old was carrying conjoined twins, leaving doctors shocked. Dr Merchant added: ‘We realised she was carrying conjoined twins right away and asked her to stay in the hospital. ‘She went home only briefly. She returned a week back and we carried out a planned Caesarean section.’
But the mother-of-two has been left devastated by their birth and is worried her family will react badly when they hear the news. Dr Paras Kothari, head of paediatric surgery at the Sion Hospital, said: ‘As they share one heart, it isn’t going to be an easy decision to make for the parents. ‘But without a surgery none of them would survive. A hospital ethics committee will first discuss the surgery and its possible outcome before counselling the parents.’
The next course of action will be decided after all investigations are complete, and the hospital will provide all the facilities completely free of cost. Conjoined twins are a rare case and occur around once in every two hundred thousand births.