Another doctor from the department where the 2D echo test was done said the twins have one-and-a-half hearts. “One heart is normal. The other is not developed and has two chambers instead of four,” said the doctor.The babies were born by caesarean section at the hospital at 9.25am on Wednesday with the birth weight of 3.6kg. They share a heart but have two stomachs, two spinal cords, and a spinal column till the sacrum. The sacrum is not well developed. They have two lungs, two kidneys, three hands, two legs and a single pelvis between them. The condition is known as single-hearted thoraco paraphagus.”We have started feeding the babies via ryles tube. They are passing stool and urine normally but we cannot say who is passing the stool and urine, as they have common genitalia,” said Dr Kothari.Dean Dr Suleman Merchant said the hospital will provide all facilities to the twins free of cost.”These conjoined twins have a very complex internal architecture. Externally, they have two separate heads and necks, but a partially common thorax; and are completely fused below the umbilicus level. 3D rotational CT angiography, multiplanar re- constructions and other complex CT techniques have been utilised to diagnose the complex internal architecture of the babies. MRI fibre tracto-graphy will be utilised to establish the communication between the brains and other parts of the nervous system, including nerve supply to limbs. The twins will require many more investigations. After all investigations are complete, the next course of action will be decided upon,” said Dr Merchant.Amit Kharkanis, a lawyer who handles medico-legal cases, said, “First of all, there is no ethical dilemma in such cases as doctors have to decide which baby has a higher survival rate. After the medical investigations, they have to take the parents’ consent.”Twin taleConjoined twins is a rare sporadic event, with a prevalence of 1 in 200,000-5,00,000 births. The mortality rate remains quite high.There are nearly a dozen different types of conjoined twins. The twins born at the Sion hospital are called cervico paraphagus.Female conjoined twins are three times more likely to be born alive than male conjoined twins.
Most conjoined twins are separated weeks or months after they are born, to give them a chance to grow and become strong enough to survive surgery and to let doctors study their anatomy.Conjoined twins are genetically identical and are therefore always the same sex. They share the same amniotic cavity and placenta and develop from the same fertilised egg.BJ Wadia hospital currently houses a pair of former conjoined twins, born to a couple from Panvel on May 6, 2013. The girls were attached by their hip at a 90 degree angle, because of which it was impossible for them to walk. They were separated on January 17, 2014, and have since been recuperating in a special room at the hospital’s paediatric ward.