Conjoined twin girls who share a liver have been sent to the Vietnam National Children's Hospital in Hanoi because one is in a critical condition, local media reported.
The twins, named V.N. and V.T. from northern Lao Cai Province, were found to be conjoined at the 33rd week of pregnancy.
Seven weeks later, they were delivered through a cesarean section and their birth weight was 2.2 and 2.8 kilograms, respectively.
After birth, V.T. suffered from dermatorrhagia and pustules all over her body but her health is stable, while V.N. has been put on a ventilator given her pustules and respiratory failure.
In addition, doctors found her suffering from a atrioventricular septal defect with the help of an echocardiogram.
The twins were found to share a liver through an abdominal ultrasound scan.
After failing to respond to treatment, the babies were transferred to the Vietnam National Children’s Hospital at midnight on May 28.
At the hospital, doctors concluded that V.N. is suffering from a complete atrioventricular septal defect, single-atrium and single-ventricle heart, severe atrioventricular regurgitation, aortic disruption, arterial inversion, and pulmonary atrophy.
V.T.’s health is stable while V.N. is in a critical condition, according to the hospital.
They are receiving good care and treatment with the coordination between the neonatal care center and the department of internal medicine.
On Monday, the director board of the Vietnam National Children’s Hospital held a consultation with the participation of representatives of the departments of cardiology, surgical intensive care, neonatology, diagnostic imaging, endocrinology - genetic medicine, anesthesiology - intensive care, craniofacial and plastic surgery, and other relevant wards to work out a plan on an early surgery for the twins, striving to save both babies' lives.
There will be multiple difficulties in the surgery.
First, the liver of the two babies is conjoined and half of the lower body of V.N. is nourished by the hepatic artery of V.T..
Therefore, the abdominal and liver separation will pose a high risk of shock.
However, if the separation is not conducted early, V.T. may suffer from heart failure as she has to pump blood to feed the two bodies.
Moreover, the kids have many cardiovascular abnormalities.
Cardiac surgeries on a normal kid are complicated and require professional knowledge and absolute accuracy, making the operation on V.N. and V.T. even more challenging.
According to doctors, conjoined twins are very rare with a rate of 1/200,000 newborns and 70 percent of them are female.