Apollo Hospitals
Thursday, December 26, 2013 10:49 AM IST (05:19 AM GMT)
Editors: General: People; Business: Healthcare, biotechnology & pharmaceutical; Technology; Healthcare
Apollo Hospitals Successfully Separates Pygopagus Conjoined Twins Ericana and Eluidi

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Thursday, December 26, 2013 — (Business Wire India) — A pair of male Pygopagus twins was successfully separated at the Apollo Speciality Hospitals in Vanagaram on December 16, 2013. Ericana and Eluidi are both declared stable.

Second significant milestone for Apollo Hospitals in its 30th year: World No. 1 in Solid Organ transplants. And now, 1st in India and South East Asia to successfully separate male Pygopagus twins.

In what can be considered a historical case attempted by an Indian Hospital, Apollo Speciality Hospitals in Vanagaram announced the successful separation of Pygopagus twins from Tanzania – Ericana & Eluidi. A marathon surgery of 18 hours conducted by a select team of 20 doctors from the specialties of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, paediatric surgery and paediatric urology was led by Dr. Venkata Sripathi, Senior Consultant Paediatric Urologist, Apollo Children’s Hospital, Dr. Roshini Gopinathan and Dr. K S Sivakumar, Senior Consultant Plastic Surgeons, Apollo Children’s Hospitals. The Surgery which began at 9:00 AM on December 16, 2013 concluded with the successful separation of the twin nine month old boys at 1:00 AM on December 17, 2013.

Born in a small village called ‘Kasumulu’ in Tanzania Ericana and Eluidi were referred to Apollo Hospital in Chennai through Apollo’s Save a Child’s Heart Initiative (SACHI) and have been under the expert care of skilled doctors at Apollo for five months now . Both babies who can now look forward to leading normal lives as two separate individuals are currently recuperating in the Intensive Care Unit at Apollo’s Vanagaram facility. They have been stable and are showing signs of a promising and speedy recovery.

Commenting on the complex surgery Dr. Venkata Sripathi said “It took us about 13 hours to separate the twins, post which reconstruction took another 5 hours. The most challenging moments were the spinal separation without injury to the nerves of either baby, separation of the fused phallus without nerve and vessel injury, separation of the urinary bladder and urethra followed by reconstruction of the pelvic floor around the rectum and anus, providing skin cover. In all it took us about 18 hours.”
Live born Pygopagus twins are usually female in sex and male Pygopagus twins are extremely rare. Till now in medical literature only 30 sets of Pygopagus twins have been reported out of which 26 were female and only four were male – making Eluidi and Ericana a very special fifth pair.

“As of now the babies are stable, but are under observation in the critical-care unit, and we are expecting that they will be fit enough to be shifted to the ward in another 5 – 7 days. Once the babies begin to feed and void well and are active, they will be discharged. They will be brought back 6 months from now for hypospadias repair and colostomies” added Dr. Sripathi.

Dr. Edward Kiely, Paediatric and Neonatal Surgeon and Dr. Richard Howard – Anaesthetist both from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London were present to proctor the Apollo team during the course of the surgery.

“In our 30 years, Apollo Hospitals has always been a pioneer in healthcare delivery and has continued to excel with world-class clinical outcomes. The case of Ericana and Eluidi was both unique and challenging. We are glad to have had the opportunity to give their strong-willed mother Grace a reason to be truly happy after nine months of agony and anticipation. We have once again demonstrated our prowess as a global destination for affordable yet world class healthcare.” said Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Group of Hospitals.

Conjoined twins, though rarely encountered, are seen in one in 200,000 deliveries. However, more than 60% of them are stillborn while 35% of the remaining die within a few days or months of birth due to various causes. Conjoined twins can be joined at the chest, abdomen, back, buttock and head. Fusion at the buttocks (Pygopagus) is very rare and accounts for less than 17% of all conjoined twins.

About SACHI Initiative:

Saving a Child’s Heart initiative identifies children with heart diseases mainly through FREE SCREENING camps. Our team of doctors and paramedical staff organizes small camps in villages. They carry along with them basic screening devices including a portable echocardiogram and conduct free screening camps for children below 12 years of age. Apart from free screening camps in the society, any patient who walks into the hospital for screening is offered free / subsidized services based on the paying capacity.

Founded by Dr.Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Group of Hospitals, Save A Child’s Heart team is one of the first teams in India that performed the most rare and difficult surgeries. The foundation started work by organizing screening camps for children all over India and then progressed to other countries. What Keeps SACHI going is the promising clinical outcomes it has achieved. Out of the children operated over 98 percent children survived, over 50 percent children who had remote chance of survival have emerged from the shadows of death because of timely medical intervention.

About Apollo Hospitals:

In 1983, Dr Prathap C Reddy, the architect of modern healthcare in India had launched the country’s first corporate hospital -Apollo Hospitals Chennai. Over three decades, it has emerged as Asia’s foremost integrated healthcare organizations with 61 hospitals, 1517 pharmacies and 102 diagnostic clinics. The Apollo Hospitals Group also offers health insurance services, healthcare IT services and has clinical research divisions with a focus on epidemiological studies, stem cell research and genetic research.

With a goal to develop skilled health human resources, the Apollo Hospitals Group currently has 1 Medical college, 8 Nursing Colleges, 3 Nursing Schools, 2 Management Institutes, 1 Physiotherapy College and 15 Paramedical Programmes affiliated to State Medical Universities under its not for profit organizations – Apollo Hospitals Educational Trust, Chennai and Apollo Hospitals Educational Research Foundation, Hyderabad.

Collaborating with the Ministry of Finance, Government of India initiative of the National Skill Development Corporation, Apollo Meds kills Ltd plans to contribute to the skilling requirements of the country by adding 4 lakh healthcare professionals to the industry by 2022.

Honouring Apollo Hospitals’ commitment to healthcare, the Government of India had issued a commemorative stamp, the first ever for a healthcare organization. Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group was conferred the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in recognition of his unparalleled contribution to healthcare. For 30 years, Apollo Hospitals has continuously excelled and maintained leadership in medical innovation.

Kusum Sahijpal, kusum_s@apollohospitals.com