'Parasitic Conjoined Twin' Makes Her First Public Appearance After the Surgery

by VR Sreeraman on Nov 13 2007 8:03 PM

Lakshmi, a two-year-old girl, who underwent a surgery to separate her 'parasitic conjoined twin', today made her first public appearance after undergoing the surgery, indicating speedy recovery.

Lakshmi has been shifted to general ward from the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), where she was kept since the 27-hour marathon surgery that concluded successfully on November 7.

A team of around 30 medics from Bangalore, removed what amounted to Lakshmi Tatma's headless identical twin sister who was joined at the pelvis and who did not develop and separate properly in the womb -- an extremely rare case, in a risky operation that began on Tuesday.

Lakshmi, who was born with four arms, four legs and extra internal organs, was expected to be in the operating theatre for 40 hours, but the surgery was over within 27 hours.

Besides the removal of the extra limbs, Lakshmi's deformed pelvis and spine were corrected, and the redundant extra organs removed, doctors said.

Doctors said the surgery was worth the risk, saying that Lakshmi, who could not walk on her deformed limbs, would have otherwise little chance of living past adolescence.

The operation is considered extremely complicated and rare in the medical history of India.

Lakshmi's parents, who are poor labourers hailing from Bihar, are not financially strong to bear the surgery cost. They told newspapers that they had refused offers from circus owners to buy their daughter.

The hospital said it was covering the cost of the surgery.