In a rare birth, a set of conjoined boys born to a Mumbai couple at Sion hospital has separate brains, but shares all other vital organs. Doctors are now conducting tests to understand which limb is controlled by which brain before they proceed to separate the twins.
The boys, together weighing 4.5 kilogram, were born after a Caesarean procedure on Wednesday morning to a couple from Uttar Pradesh that had migrated to Mumbai over a decade ago. The incidence of such conjoined twins is one in five lakh globally.
A CT scan and an MRI conducted on Thursday showed the boys have a heart, a set of kidneys, a liver, an abdomen and a pelvis in common. The lungs, however, have been detected attached with only one boy. According to doctors, the spinal cord, face and brain are the only parts separate for both babies. “In medical literature, we have seen only two such cases where one baby has survived when twins had a fused common heart,” said Sion hospital’s head of pediatric surgery Dr Paras Kothari.
The babies have two legs and three hands. “When they are asleep, we will pinch each limb to check which baby wakes up or reacts. Based on our understanding of whether one baby has all sets of limbs intact, we will proceed to separate him from the second,” Kothari added.
According to head of neonatology at the hospital, Dr Y S Nandanwar, the 26-year-old mother, Shahin Khan, is stable and recuperating.
Father Irshad Khan, a 28-year-old cobbler who works at Dadar station, lives in a chawl in Sion. The couple has two daughters, aged four and two. Economic conditions prevented them from undergoing diagnostic tests early into the pregnancy.