Ericana and Eluidi – Male Pygopagus conjoined twins from Tanzania
Erician and Eluidi (from Tanzania Africa) were brought to Apollo Hospitals Chennai at the age of 4 months for surgical treatment. They were joined at the buttocks – a condition called ‘pygopagus’ which is very rare and difficult to treat. After extensive investigations they were found to share a common spinal cord, a common anorectum and they had a single penis and urethra in the midline.
Surgical separation was carried out at Apollo Specialty Hospitals Vanagaram on 16th December 2013 and was successfully accomplished after 18 hours. The procedure was carried out by a team of 20 surgical specialists from Apollo and was mentored by two specialists from London.
The babies were nursed in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for 3 weeks. They exhibited features of a ‘shared circulation’ and took some time to adjust to an independent existence. They also had minor wound problems at the area of fusion which required resuturing.
The twins saw each other for the first time 3 weeks after surgery. Eluidi was placed in Ericana’s bed and they joyfully touched and tugged at each other. Eluidi took Ericana’s fingers and sucked on them. It was a feast to watch. The twins are boisterous and immensely curious about the environment. They have completely different temperaments. Eluidi is very fond of Tamil film music and loves to ‘dance’ by wiggling his bottom and rocking back and forth. Ericana loves classical music and listens quietly without movement.
Their mother Grace took sometime to adjust to taking care of two lively infants with colostomies. The bond shared by Grace and the babies is a treat to watch.
The twins will celebrate their first birthday at Apollo Hospitals Vanagaram on the 18th of February and will fly back to Tanzania later that evening. They will be sorely missed by all the staff who loved their antics.
They will however be back six months from now for surgical procedures on the penis and for colostomy closure.
This is first time that male pygopgagus twins have been successfully corrected in this country and we at Apollo are proud of this achievement.
Sr Pediatric Urologist