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Conjoined thoracopagus twins: A systematic review of the anomalies and outcome of surgical separation.

INTRODUCTION: Conjoined twin is an extremely rare condition and requires a thorough knowledge of anatomy, and a multidisciplinary approach is essential to successfully separate the twins. Thoracopagus twins lie face to face and are attached from chest to upper abdomen. They are the most common among all the varieties but have a poor survival rate.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study is a review of literature from 2019 to the oldest via PubMed and Google Scholar using keywords: Conjoined twins, Thoracopagus twins, Thoracoomphalopagus and Thoraco-omphalopagus twins. The articles were reviewed for the description of the anatomy of shared organs, management and outcome of these twins.

RESULTS: One hundred and fifty-eight sets of thoracopagus and thoraco-omphalopagus twins including our twins were included in this study. Out of 158 reported thoracopagus twin sets in literature, with M: F ratio of 1:2.3, 71 sets were found to be non-operable and all of them subsequently expired; 82 sets were operated upon, out of which 83 babies survived, suggesting an overall surgical success rate of about 50%.

CONCLUSION: Thoracopagus twins have a dismal prognosis. The most important decisive parameter for successful separation is the extent of sharing of organs between twins. The role of a motivated multidisciplinary team is also indispensable and cannot be overemphasised.

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