Successful Separation Surgery of Conjoined Twins
Conjoined twins are twins who were born with attached body-parts to each other. It occurs due to incomplete separation during identical twins were formed. There’s another theory states that it was caused by fusion of two fertilized eggs that were initially separated. It is a rare condition with an incidence of one in 200,000 live births.
Conjoined twins’ type are differentiated based on attached body-parts:
- Thoracopagus (chest attachment)
- Omphalopagus (attached to the stomach)
- Pyopagus (attachment to the back and buttocks)
- Craniopagus (to the head)
- Ischiopagus (attached to the pelvis)
- Parapagus (attached to the side)
- Cephalopagus (attached to the face)
- Rachipagus (attached to the spine)
Attached organs are vary from skin to organ system such as the brain, heart, liver, digestive tract, urinary tract, and pelvic bones.
Separation of conjoined twins requires a multidisciplinary team involving pediatricians, neurosurgeons, pediatric surgeon, thoracic surgeon, orthopaedic surgeon, plastic surgeon, anaesthesia, medical rehabilitation, nutritionists, social workers and many others. Not all conjoined twins cases could be separated a holistic evaluation is needed to determine which part of the bodies are connected. Surgery is considered based on both babies’ condition of organ completeness, stability of health condition, difficulty level of surgery, possible complication and many more. For example, a condition that caused cancelation of surgery if both babies only have one heart.
When the separation of conjoined twins was done, both babies should undergo follow-up care and rehabilitation to ensure appropriate growth and development, assisted by a medical rehabilitation team and social workers.