Photo Credits: commons.wikimedia.org
The 10 month old twins shared several organs which made this a real challenge for the team of doctors
The medical world rejoices the good amazing news after doctors at the Texas Children’s Hospital were able to accomplish an almost impossible task of separating the twin baby girls who shared several organs. The twins, Knatalye and Adeline Mata, were separated after a 26-hour surgery on Feb. 17.
Elysse and John Eric Mata, the parents of the twin girls, were able to discover they had twins only three months earlier and also found out that they were conjoined. For further extensive prenatal scans and multidisciplinary consultation, the couple was referred to Texas Children’s Fetal Center at the Children’s Hospital where the hospital got to work on developing plans to ensure that the twins were born safely and were taken care of after their birth.
The complications were alarmingly increasing after results from various scans which showed that the girls shared not one but several organs including chest wall, pericardial sac (the lining of the heart), lungs, diaphragm, liver, intestines, colon and pelvis. Separating the twins wasn’t just the task of one specialist but several other doctors were needed who specialized in each of the required fields; pediatric surgeons, plastic surgeons, heart surgeons, urologists, plus surgeons specializing in liver transplant, orthopedics and pediatric gynecology.
A total of 26 surgeons got together for this marathon procedure apart from the anesthesiologists, surgical nurses and others. The procedure lasted for a long 23 hours on Knatalye and 26 hours on Adeline after which both were completely separated. The surgery finally brought an end to months of planning and caring of the ten month old twins.
Darrell Cass, a pediatric surgeon and co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Center, and associate professor of surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine comments on the procedure;
“This is the first time a separation surgery for thoraco-omphalo-ischiopagus twins with this particular configuration has been successful. This surgery was not without its challenges with the girls sharing several organ systems. Our team has been preparing for this surgery for months and we’ve done everything from working with our radiology experts to build a 3D model of their organs, to conducting simulations of the actual separation surgery.”
The preparations for the surgery had kicked off months before this when the twins had to go through the first surgery of their lives which lasted for 5 hours. Doctors had implanted tissue expanders into their chest and abdomen in order to stretch their skin.
The twins will now take at least 2 months to recover from the surgery and they have been placed under the care of a multidisciplinary team at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. Though this marks a remarkable development in the medical world, yet there are some uncertainties and the doctors have asserted that the twins will have to undergo further surgeries before they can fully recover.
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