In an extremely rare surgery, doctors at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences operated a baby who had its conjoined twin that lacked a head and a heart growing with it. The abnormal twin was posing a threat to the life of the normal twin.
In a normal pregnancy, the head and heart of a foetus start developing in the sixth week. A complication where the underdeveloped twin called acardia twin survives like a parasite that draws blood and nutrition from the normal twin is seen in one among 3-4 lakh expecting mothers. About this particular case, Dr Mandakini Pradhan, the head of maternal and reproductive health department, SGPGI, says, “A 5.5-month pregnant woman with twins was referred to us about three months ago. The undeveloped twin was drawing blood and nutrition from the normal twin. And, in the process of sharing, the functioning of the normal baby’s heart was being affected adversely. It had, in fact, brought her to the brink of heart failure”.
“The challenge was to save the normal baby inside the womb without an anaesthesia and early birth. The doctors’ team decided to snap the connection between the twins through Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA). In this, a unique medical needle-like device is used to pass on medium frequency electrical current to the targeted area for various purposes,” she added.
She also added that the connecting tissues supplying blood to the abnormal area inside the womb were burnt. This immediately saved the healthy baby from going to heart failure. Thereafter, the pregnancy was regularly monitored till childbirth and a baby girl was delivered on Wednesday.
Speaking about this, baby’s father said,”The testing time and sleepless nights are over. I am happy that our patience and trust over the doctors paid off.”