Conjoined twins await major surgery


ISLAMABAD: Born 7 months ago in Sahiwal, the conjoined twins Shazia and Nazia are still waiting for the risky incisive surgery at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) that will separate the two.
The twins have been waiting for their turn with the parents having left them in the care of an ailing grandmother to look after their two normal sons at home. “I do not know what is taking them so long. We are all mentally prepared that the surgery could fail to save their lives but the uncertainty is getting unbearable,” the grandmother said feeding bottle milk to the girls.
“This is an unusual case of craniopagus twins – siblings born joined at heads or at the cranium (top of head or skull). The chance of surviving this surgery is fifty-fifty”. Colonel Dr. Azra, a pediatric surgeon said while talking to Pakistan Today. The girls needed two surgeries, she said, the first one being a relatively harmless one to separate the facial features and the second more risky and complicated one to separate the brains and the skulls.
She expected the chances of one of the girls to be better than the other but added that this was mere speculation and the position would only clear up once the surgery is conducted. A team of experts comprising pediatric surgeons, neuron-surgeons, plastic surgeons, anesthetists and radiologists was appointed to alleviate the suffering of the poor family.
The team consists of Prof Zaheer Abbasi, Prof Amjad Chaudhry, Prof Shazia, Prof Hameeduddin, Prof Nadeem Akhtar and Prof Khaleequz Zaman. Dr Ajmad, Executive Director, Children Hospital PIMS said that the doctors had already done a minor surgery to expand the tissues of the girls by placing expanding pads under the skin of their head. “We will go for the major surgery after a reassessment,” he said.