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Conjoined Indian Twins See Hope On The Horizon

After conducting a battery of tests, doctors at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi expressed hope that the 10-year-old conjoined twins; Saba and Farah Shakeel can be successfully separated. //

The twins who are joined at the skull are currently in New Delhi’s Apollo Hospital and doctors say that a major impediment to the surgery is the fact that the girls share a major blood drainage vessel in the brain. Another possible roadblock is the fact the one girl has a pair of kidneys while the other has none. "We believe we can separate Saba and Farah with a certain degree of confidence and we believe that separation is possible. We have the expertise to pull this off and do that with a reasonable degree of success," said Anupam Sibal, a pediatrician at Apollo. Benjamin Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins in the United States is the lead surgeon in this complicated operation that starts with the creation of a virtual 3-D image of the twins.

The final step would be a kidney transplant to the twin without any kidneys. "We are not rushing into anything here at all and we want to make sure we take advantage of every piece of knowledge that is available," commented Carson. However no date has been set for the surgery since Shakeel, the twins father has decided to wait until after Ramzan.

Conjoined twins are a rarity and occur about once in every 50,000 live births. For those who undergo the complex surgery, the rate of survival is a mere 20 percent.

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