Fused at the abdomen and chest, the conjoined twin sisters confounded their parents, Lal Bhai and Shashikala.
They had no idea how to get treatment.
When the girls were 2 months old, a local hospital in India referred them to AIIMS for surgery. For four months, a team of 30 doctors planned the surgery.
“The most difficult thing in such surgeries is to diagnose which part of the body is joined. The twins may have fused liver or heart, or some other part,” explained Dr. Mini Bajpai.
Conjoined twins who are connected at the heart are difficult to separate.
Fortunately, these girls shared a liver. The organ could easily be split in two and grow into separate, functional livers for both Shaily and Shilpa.
In 2013, when the girls were 8 months old, they underwent the separation surgery. And it was a success.
The surgery took eight hours to complete. Once it was over, the girls’ parents were so happy to be able to hold Shaily and Shilpa in each arm.
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