12 November 2019
Bhubaneswar: Noted neurosurgeon Dr Ashok Mahapatra featured in the 2020 edition of Limca Book of Records for the craniopagus surgery of Kandhamal conjoined twins Jaga and Balia.
In a letter, the LCB said, “A team of 125 doctors and paramedical staff, led by Dr Deepak Kumar Gupta and Dr Ashok Kumar Mahapatra, from the Department of Neurosurgery at AIIMS, New Delhi, successfully separated 28-month-old twins Jaga and Balia. The twins were joined to each other at the cranium. The complex surgery was conducted in two stages, on 28 August 2017 and 25 October 2017.”
Dr Mahapatra completed MBBS from MKCG Medical College, Berhampur in 1975. He did his M.S. (Surgery) from AIIMS, New Delhi in 1979 and M.Ch. (Neurosurgery) in 1982. He served as the Director of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose AIIMS in Bhubaneswar from 2012 till 2016. He was one of the founding Directors of AIIMS, BBSR.
One of the features of the surgery was that a vein taken from the vein bank at AIIMS was grafted in Balia’s brain as the children shared only one vein and it was the first such case of vein grafting in the world. After Jaga and Balia were admitted to AIIMS, a preliminary assessment was made to ascertain whether they could stand the arduous surgical processes.
Mahapatra said the team constituted to take up the surgical separation took advice from Prof James T Goodrich, a famous pediatric neurosurgeon at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, as he had done two such surgeries earlier and was considered the top most expert in the field in the world.