Aussie surgeons separate conjoined twins

Ms Bhumchu Zangmo holding her conjoined twins Nima and Dawa before their surgery. The 15-month-old Bhutanese twins were separated in a six-hour operation at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne yesterday.
Ms Bhumchu Zangmo holding her conjoined twins Nima and Dawa before their surgery. The 15-month-old Bhutanese twins were separated in a six-hour operation at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne yesterday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SYDNEY • Surgeons at an Australian hospital yesterday successfully separated conjoined Bhutanese twins in a six-hour operation.

The 15-month-old twins, Nima and Dawa, had been joined from the chest to the pelvis. Doctors at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne (RCHM) said they had to separate the girls' livers, and the main challenge was reconstructing their abdomens.

"It is a relief and it is also a joy. There's nothing better in any operation than to be able to go to the parents and say we have been able to take care of your child," Dr Joe Crameri, who led the 18-strong surgical team and is the head of paediatric surgery at the hospital, told a media conference.

"There will be challenges over the next 24 to 48 hours, as with any surgery, and we feel quietly confident that we will have a good result," said Dr Crameri.

The girls and their mother were flown to Australia last month by the Children's First Foundation charity, which said the Victorian state government had covered the cost of the surgery while it looked after transport and accommodation.

When they arrived, the medical team said the girls needed to improve their weight and health before surgery. The girls are expected to remain in hospital for at least a week, Dr Crameri said.

 
 

In 2009, doctors at RCHM successfully separated conjoined Bangladeshi twins, Trishna and Krishna, in a 25-hour operation.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2018, with the headline 'Aussie surgeons separate conjoined twins'. Print Edition | Subscribe