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India: Separated twin ‘opens eyes’ four days after surgery


India: Separated twin 'opens eyes' four days after surgery

Image copyright AIIMS
Image caption Picture released by the hospital two days after the historic surgery

One of the twin boys who were conjoined at the head has opened his eyes four days after a historic surgery to separate them in India, a doctor says.

Two-year-old Jaga has also responded to simple commands, including moving his limbs. He is on a ventilator and needs daily dialysis due to kidney problems.

His brother, Kalia, is not yet conscious and has suffered seizures.

The boys were born with shared blood vessels and brain tissues and a 16-hour surgery separated them.

A team of 30 doctors carried out the operation – the first of its kind in India – at a state-run hospital in the capital, Delhi.

Both boys are stable and doctors are satisfied with their progress so far, Professor Deepak Gupta, who was involved in the operation, told the BBC.

  • Living a conjoined life
Image copyright AIIMS
Image caption Doctors say they are happy with their progress
Image copyright AIIMS
Image caption The twins before the surgery to separate them

The twins, hailing from a village in eastern Orissa state, were joined at the head – a condition known as craniopagus.

Even before the operation they had defeated the odds – craniopagus occurs in one in three million births, and 50% of those affected die within 24 hours, doctors say.

The first surgery was performed on 28 August when the doctors created a bypass to separate the shared veins that return blood to the heart from the brain.

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