Year-old twins from Kerala — Adhi and Adhri — were successfully operated by a team of doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here to correct the shape of their skulls which were growing vertically.

The children, who were brought to the Institute in March from Kerala by their parents, were diagnosed with a condition known as craniosynostosis, where sutures or natural divisions in the skull bones fuse in the womb leaving little space for the brain to grow.

“This causes the head to grow in an abnormal shape. In this case one twin had more prominent vertical growth when compared to the other,” said Dr. Deepak Gupta, additional professor of neurosurgery at AIIMS, who operated on the babies.

Explaining the probable cause of vertical growth, Dr. Gupta said: “We feel that the children had restricted space in the womb which may have caused the skull to fuse at a premature stage during pregnancy. After examining the children, our team of doctors opted to do the surgery to reduce any risk to brain development because of the shape of the skull.”

Speaking at the press conference, Dr. Gupta explained that the condition was rare, with 1 in 5,000 cases being reported in international literature, and the AIIMS neurosurgery department gets about 10 cases a year.

“But it is the first time that monozygotic twins, who look identical otherwise, had this abnormal growth,” he said.

The children were operated on March 27 and were discharged two weeks later.

“The surgery involved removing the bones, resizing and reshaping them by artificially breaking them and inducing fractures. But since these were identical twins, we had to resize the bones and shape the heads, to make them look exactly the same,” said Dr. Gupta.

He added that the mid-line of the skull that divides the left side and the right side of the brain, were missing in both the babies.

“The pressure in the brain was high in both the babies and this could cause headaches, abnormal brain development and even result in vision loss, ” he said.

Thanking the doctors, parents of the twins — Binu Mon P.R., a businessman based in Alleppey and mother Sandhya — said: “My children now look like two happy healthy twins. We hope they continue to grow up well.”

“Doctors have explained that the children don’t require any further surgeries which we are happy about. We were worried when we first noticed the odd shape of their heads, but things have worked well after we came to AIIMS,” said Binu.

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