Hope for conjoined twins

2010-11-18 14:41

There is light at the end of the tunnel for the conjoined girl twins who were born at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto this week.

Keamogetswe and Tiroyaone (surname withheld to protect the mother’s identity) were born to a 15-year-old teenager at the hospital on Monday.

The twins are joined at the chest and abdomen but each have their own heart.

However, Dr Antoinette Cilliers, a paediatric cardiologist at the hospital, today told reporters that they share a liver and pericardial sac.

The pericardial sac is a cone-shaped sac which surrounds the heart and the roots of the great blood vessels.

Dr Jerome Loveland, a paediatric surgeon at the hospital, said while the chances of separating the babies through surgery looked promising, it was still early to determine the specifics.

“It is difficult to predict how long such a procedure would take but it could take up to five hours,” said Loveland.

Cilliers said the twins were still under observation.

“We haven’t done anything yet,” she said.

Loveland said the twins’ condition could most probably be a result of genetics.

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital CEO Johanna More said the 15-year-old mother was doing well and would receive further counselling from a psychologist to help her cope with the situation.

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