Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: The twin surgery on a 30-year-old pregnant woman performed on April 17 brought together various specialties for one purpose: to save the life of a woman and her foetus.

Government General Hospital Medical Superintendent R. Veerapandian said Saroja was undergoing treatment for seizures for three months at the Salem GH, prior to the brain surgery. This jeopardised the life of the foetus.

When she was referred to the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Egmore, the tumour was pushing the brain to a side and her symptoms had increased in intensity. Doctors at IOG referred her to the GH for MRI scan. The surgery became imperative as Ms. Saroja would only end up having more seizures and that could abort the foetus. As the mother was in good health, the doctors decided to perform the surgeries together when the foetus was 39 weeks old as this would mean that the child was fully developed. The challenge was to save the baby’s life as anaesthesia could damage its sensitive tissues, Dr. Veerapandian said. The procedures called for expertise of various departments. While the Caesarean section was performed in 45 minutes, the tumour was removed in about 30 minutes. A team of three obstetricians from the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, two neurosurgeons and two anaesthetists from the GH, monitored drug dosage for both surgeries, Dr. Veerapandian said.