Risk Factors, Complications, Treatment and Diagnosis of Conjoined Twins

Tatiana and Krista Hogan are craniopagus twins who share a unique connection


What is Conjoined Twins

Births of conjoined twins, whose skin and internal organs are united together, are rare. Conjoined twins occur once each 200,000 live births, and their survival is anything however assured.

Approximately 40 to 60 % of conjoined twins arrive stillborn, and about 35 % survive just one day. The survival rate of conjoined twins is somewhere between 5 % and 25 %.

For some reason, female siblings appear to have a higher shot at survival than their male counterparts. Though more male twins conjoin in the womb than female twins, females are 3 times as likely as males to be born alive. Just about 70 % of all conjoined twins are ladies.

Risk factors of Conjoined Twins

Because conjoined twins are so rare, and the cause is not clear, it’s unknown what may create some couples more possible to have conjoined twins.

Complications of Conjoined Twins

Most conjoined twins die within the womb (stillborn) or soon when birth.

Vaginal delivery isn’t attainable for conjoined twins. About 40 % of conjoined twins are stillborn. Of conjoined twins born alive, less than half survive long enough to be candidates for separation surgery.

Diagnosis of Conjoined Twins

Conjoined twins may be diagnosed using normal ultrasound as early as the end of the first trimester. More-detailed ultrasounds and echocardiograms may be used about halfway through maternity to better determine the extent of the twins’ connection and the functioning of their organs.

If an ultrasound detects conjoined twins, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan could also be done. The magnetic resonance imaging could give bigger detail about where the conjoined twins are connected and which organs they share.

Conjoined Twins Treatments and medicines

Treatment of conjoined twins varies greatly counting on the circumstances.

Many parents create the difficult decision to end the pregnancy. Prognosis and quality-of-life issues weigh heavily within the decision, as well as the likelihood of successful separation. If the babies share a heart or brain, for instance, separation surgery might not be potential.

If the parents choose to continue the pregnancy, mother and babies are closely monitored throughout the pregnancy. A surgical (C-section) delivery is planned earlier than time, typically two to four weeks before the maturity date.

After the conjoined twins are born, the parents and doctors should decide whether or not to try separation surgery. Associate in Nursing emergency separation is also required if one among the twins dies, develops a serious condition or threatens the survival of the opposite twin. More often, however, separation surgery is Associate in Nursing elective procedure done 2 to four months when birth.

Many factors weigh heavily within the decision to pursue separation surgery, such as:

  • Do the twins share very important organs?
  • Are the twins healthy enough to face up to separation surgery?
  • What are the odds of successful separation?
  • What form of reconstructive surgery may well be required for each twin after successful separation?
  • What issues would the twins face if left conjoined?

If separation surgery is not attainable or the parents decide to not pursue the surgery, comfort care such as nutrition, fluids, human touch and pain relief is provided as needed.

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