New Delhi: A pair of conjoined twins from Badaun in Uttar Pradesh who were joined at the hip and lower back have been separated following a 24-hour surgery at the AIIMS here, officials said.

The two-year-old girls had fused pelvis, spinal bones, spinal cord, intestines and shared a common rectum besides having abnormalities of the heart and major blood vessels, a senior doctor said.

The surgery which began at 8.30am on Friday continued past 9am on Saturday. A team of 64 healthcare workers including surgeons, anaesthetists, plastic surgeons was involved in the surgery.

The process of anaesthesia and the surgery was very challenging as both the children have a hole each in their hearts, the senior doctor said.

"Even when under anaesthesia, surgeons had to ensure that the hearts kept working as normal as possible during the surgery and that was a major challenge," the doctor explained.

As a part of the surgery, remodelling of the spinal cords, separation of the spines, reconstruction of rectum and blood vessels of the thighs was done. Also, the uterus had to be separated and reconstructed.

AIIMS director Randeep Guleria took note of the need for the surgery and promptly granted permission for the procedure to be undertaken even during the COVID-19 situation, another doctor said.

The surgery was led by Dr Minu Bajpai, HoD, Department of Paediatric Surgery, with assistance from anaesthetists, plastic surgeons among others.

"The twins are under close care and monitoring," the doctor said.