The risk factors in separating conjoined twins Veena and Vani include them becoming coma-tose, becoming crippled for life and dying on the operation table, doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences have stated. The doctors have said that intricate neurological veins are intertwined between the two and the surgery would be highly risky. A detailed report was sent to the government of Telangana state and Niloufer Hospital. Twins share vital blood vessels Veena and Vani are fused at the skulls but have separate brains. Dr Ramesh Reddy, professor and head of the department of pediatric surgery said, “A similar concern had also been shared by the doctors from the UK who had examined the girls in 2015. AIIMS doctors have confirmed the same and we have conveyed it to the parents.”
Doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK were confident despite the odds. Neurosurgeons Dr David Dunaway and Dr Owase Jeelani had said that there was an 80 per cent chance of separating them. This stand had the doctors in the hospital elated, but they are now in a somber mood following the AIIMS observation.A file picture of Veena and Vani The twins’ parents, Mr Naga and Ms Maragani Murali, were called to the hospital on Thursday and told about the AIIMS doctors’ apprehensions. With surgery being ruled out, they were asked to take the girls back.
A senior doctor said, “They have been staying in the hospital since April 2006. Now, they are 13 years old and it is not possible for them to continue staying here. The parents have been told the same and they need to take them back.” The parents have asked for five days to consult with their family members. They said that they didn’t have the expertise to take care of the girls or the requisite amount of money. A Niloufer doctor said, “They are looking for some donations and also the help of caregivers to look after the twins.”
Veena and Vani’s history
Oct. 15, 2003: Veena and Vani born in Warangal. First tests carried out in Guntur General Hospital.
April 2006: Veena and Vani shifted to Niloufer Hospital, where they have been ever since, in a room on the third floor.
Jan. 16, 2008: Veena and Vani placed under care of Dr Ashish Mehta, neurosurgeon from Breach Candy Hospital. The idea of surgery discussed but dropped.
Dr Keith Goh of East Shore Hospital, Singapore, who had operated on Iranian twins Ladan and Laleh Bijani, explained the difficulties. Parents refuse consent. Doctors at Niloufer hospital ask government to rehabilitate the girls as they were not mingling with children of their age. The parents were farm workers and stated that it was not possible for them to take care of the girls.
January 2012: The parents told the state government that if there was any development in the field of medicine and if surgery was feasible, the state government would have to bear the costs.
February 2015: Dr David James Dunaway, consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon at London, who performed separation surgery on one-year-old Sudanese twins, contacted. Doctors were optimististic of Veena and Vani’s chances, but it was unclear who would pay for the stay and treatment at London.