Baby Lakshmi Out Of ICU After Removal Of Parasitic Twin

by Ann Samuel on Nov 10 2007 3:26 PM

Two-year-old Lakshmi who stole national headlines when she was subjected to a marathon surgery to remove her parasitic twin is now hopefully, out of danger.

Doctor Sharan Patil and his team of 36 medics from Sparsh Hospital, a super-specialty medical center in Bangalore, had conducted the 27-hour operation free of cost on the little girl born with eight limbs. They have reported that she is off ventilators and will possibly move out of the ICU in a couple of days. They expect her to walk about soon.

This has been one of the most rare surgeries conducted worldwide. "This morning, blood parameters were within normal limits. We started weaning her off the ventilator and now she is completely off the life support system. But chances of infections are high as the surgical wounds are fresh and she is not completely out of the woods. We are nearing the completion of critical time. But as of now, everything has been going according to plan and has been showing good signs of recovery,” Dr. Sharan Patil was quoted.

For the first time after the surgery, Lakshmi's parents Shambu and Poonam were allowed inside the ICU. They spent about 15 minutes there. According to Shambu, this has been the most critical time of his life. "I was relieved to see my daughter open her eyes and move her legs," Shambu said with tears.

The marathon session of 27 hours of surgery began on Tuesday morning and ended Wednesday morning. The pediatric surgery team operated on Lakshmi first and carefully dissected out vital organs so that they could be preserved during removal of the parasite.

Lakshmi's internal structures were not exactly as they had appeared on the scans, but the surgeons were able to negotiate these difficulties, say authorities. As Lakshmi herself had only one kidney, a second kidney from the parasite was successfully isolated and moved into her body.

"Lakshmi will be moved out of the ICU in a couple of days and we will plan the next schedule as she progresses. During the surgery, we realized that her hips and legs were pretty strong, which will help her move about. However, her reproductive system is underdeveloped leaving the chances of her being a mother in the future bleak," Dr Sharan Patil was quoted.

Lakshmi is a case of an Ischiopagus Tetrapus, or twin joined at the pelvis. The incidence of such conjoined twins is one in 50,000.

As the head of the other twin was missing, doctors called the conjoined twin a parasite.

Lakshmi was born to a poor family in a small village in Bihar’s Araria District. Villagers initially considered her an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.