Two months after conjoined twins from Odisha, Jaga and Kalia, were separated through a surgery at AIIMS, Director Randeep Guleria on Saturday said the twins will take another eight to nine months to get discharged as the vital reconstructive surgeries of their skull is yet to be done. Guleria said that while the two had been separated, the grafting of skin on their skull has to be done, after which they would be under observation till their recovery. “Discharging the two (Jagga and Kalia) may take eight to nine months, as now there have to be lots of reconstructive and re-plastic surgery for the skull of the two babies.
“Though the top of the brain has been separated, the top has to be re-grafted with skin, so that may take months. It’s a long-drawn process and depends on how things go on,” Guleria told IANS. Noting that skin grafting was not an easy task, Guleria said usually the skin was taken from some other part of the body and used where it was needed. Doctors at the hospital had successfully conducted 22-hour-long craniopagus surgery to separate Jagga and Kalia on Oct 25 and 26. The twins, whose cranium were fused, were brought to the AIIMS on July 14 from Milipada village in Odisha’s Kandhamal district.
The first phase of surgery, where experts from Japan were also present, was done on August 28. In it, a new bypass technique was used for the first time to separate the twins. Elaborating the challenges during the surgery, Guleria had said: “There was a situation in which one of the kids did not have nerves and so this had to be created. Each of the twins also needed 20 units of blood.”