Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister, termed the historic incident as “AIIMS Delhi Jagga and Balia craniopagus surgery.

The premier health institute of India All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) today performed India’s first craniopagus surgery of separating conjoined twins Jaga and Kalia. The twins have been discharged from AIIMS for further treatment in a state government-run medical college and hospital in Odisha.

The AIIMS doctors briefed that the Jagga-Balia case was highly complex as they shared venous return (circular sinus) and were totally fused to each other at the head level (Total Vertical type 3 with fused brains in parietal and occipital lobes). They were born in Kandhamal District of Odisha and were kept in SCB medical college, Cuttack for the initial three months after birth. A detailed discussion was held with their family prior to the surgery on the risks associated with the procedure. The doctors informed that while Jagga is developing well in all the domains on neuropsychological assessment and can join special school in Odisha immediately after going to his home state, Balia remains neurologically disabled with profound intellectual impairment. He requires long-term rehabilitation care and needs nurturing and tender loving care as assessed by the neuropsychologists.

The first stage surgery, lasting 25 hours, involved creating a venous bypass on Balia and partial brain separation from Jagga, and was conducted on 28th August 2017. The final separation of the two children was successfully done on 25th October 2017 in an operation which lasted for 20 hrs. Skin grafting and minor neurosurgical procedures were done for the twins to cover skin defects by the plastic surgery team over next few months.

“It is such a great coincidence that Jagga and Balia will reach home on 7th September and Chandrayaan II will also touch the moon on the same date. It’s not only India’s scientists that are doing India proud, it is the commendable determination and commitment of the doctors also that is making India proud. This rarest of the rare surgery is one such shining example, says Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. He termed the historic incident as “AIIMS Delhi Jagga and Balia craniopagus surgery”.

A team of three doctors (Dr Deepak Gupta, Neurosurgeon; Dr Girija Rath, Neuroanesthetist; and Dr Kiran Kumar, Pediatrician) along with one nurse from AIIMS, Delhi will accompany the two children on their way back to Odisha by rail today. The two children will be initially kept in SCB Medical College Cuttack for a few weeks for rehabilitation and supportive care.