Unusual surgery: Parasitic twin separated from baby

Team of 15 doctors of PIMS successfully removes parasitic twin from three-month old baby.

Sehrish Wasif March 02, 2011

ISLAMABAD: A team of 15 doctors of Pakistan Institute of Medical sciences (Pims) successfully removed a parasitic twin from a three-month old baby here on Tuesday.

The baby, Faisal, was born with an undeveloped twin conjoined to his abdomen. “He was joined with a baby who was incomplete, having only lower limbs, hands and no head and heart,” said Professor Zaheer Abbasi of Pims Children Hospital’s Department of Paediatric Surgery, while talking to The Express Tribune.

The doctors, in the three-hour long surgery, had to separate part of the chest, intestines, liver and some muscles to detach the two. “It was not an easy task as they were sharing an abdomen and intestines, while the incomplete twin was taking blood from Faisal,” said Abbassi.

“It is a miracle how they saved my baby,” said the mother, Tasleem Bibi. “We are very thankful to the doctors who did the operation free of charge.” She said her family is very poor and “could never have afforded the treatment charges”.

Faisal was born three months ago in Swat to a family of four. The 48-year-old father, Mohammad Sharif, is a driver by profession.

The baby was brought to Pims 15 days after birth and was kept under observation since. “We did a few tests and waited for the baby to mature enough to go through the surgery,” Dr Abbassi said.

He said the baby will be kept under further observation at the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit for a few days.

Dr Abbassi said over the past two decades, the hospital had received around 18 to 20 such case. “Such surgeries are not new to us,” he said.

He explained that such cases occur when a second embryo begins to grow inside the mother but does not separate from the primary embryo. Though the baby’s condition can be detected with an ultrasound scan during pre-natal checkups, nothing can be done until the baby is born.

“In such cases we wait for the baby’s birth and later separate it from its incomplete twin,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2011.


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