Australia: Doctors begin surgery on conjoined twins - PressFrom - Australia

AustraliaDoctors begin surgery on conjoined twins

04:01  09 november  2018
04:01  09 november  2018 Source:

'Happier, heavier and ready to go': Conjoined twins Nima and Dawa closer to surgery

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CNN's Dr . Sanjay Gupta meets the McDonald family on the eve of the biggest day of their lives, when their conjoined twins Anias and Jadon are to be separated.

Australian doctors begin delicate separation surgery on conjoined Bhutanese twins Nima and Dawa. The 15-month-old girls are joined at the torso, and share a Bhumchu Zangmo hugs her conjoined twins Nima and Dawa at Miracle sMiles Retreat in East Kilmore, Australia, on Friday. Photo: EPA.

EPA Bhutanese twins Nima and Dawa Pelden play with toys Bhutanese twins Nima and Dawa are joined at the torso 1

Surgeons in Australia have begun a complex operation to separate Bhutanese conjoined twins.

The 15-month-old girls, Nima and Dawa Pelden, are joined at the torso and share a liver and possibly a bowel, doctors say.

They were brought to Melbourne with their mother to have surgery in October, but it was postponed so the girls could improve their nutrition.

Doctors said they were confident the twins were now ready for the operation.

About 18 specialists in two teams, one for each girl, are taking part in the procedure at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. The surgery is expected to last at least six hours.

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At one point, the lead surgeon considered stopping mid-operation, but managed to separate conjoined twins . CNN's Dr . Sanjay Gupta reports.

Conjoined twins are very rare - it is thought one in every 200,000 births - and around 40-60% of these births are delivered stillborn.

Conjoined twins Niwa and Dawa declared ready for separation surgery on Friday

Conjoined twins Niwa and Dawa declared ready for separation surgery on Friday After spending the past month at a farm north of Melbourne conjoined twins Nima and Diwa have grown stronger and are set to undergo separation surgery at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital in a six-hour procedure involving a team of 18 people.

Doctors in Ohio will start surgery on 3-year-old conjoined twins Wednesday. Last month, doctors at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital succeeded in giving independent blood flow to the twins by inserting a coiled wire device into veins in their brains, which share tissue.

On Friday, a team of doctors began working to separate the twin sisters, who were born five months ago joined at the abdomen and chest. Doctors have not revealed which girl that will be. Conjoined twins occur once in every 70,000 to 100,000 live births, according to the John Hopkins Children Center.

Doctors begin surgery on conjoined twins© EPA The girls are in Australia with their mother, Bhumchu Zangmo

Only a few separations are carried out around the world each year.

Nima and Dawa face each other, and cannot sit down together. They can stand if they do so at the same time.

"What we will be looking for is simply what bits actually connect the two girls together," lead surgeon Dr Joe Crameri told reporters on Friday.

EPA Bhumchu Zangmo holds her conjoined twins Nima and Dawa in Australia The girls are in Australia with their mother, Bhumchu Zangmo 1

Dr Crameri said they would separate the liver, but one "unknown" was whether the girls shared a bowel.

Doctors begin surgery on conjoined twins© EPA Bhutanese twins Nima and Dawa are joined at the torso

If so it would also be divided, he said, and "our challenge will be to reconstruct their abdominal walls to close it over".

The girls and their mother, Bhumchu Zangmo, 38, were brought to Australia from Bhutan by Children First Foundation, an Australian-based charity.

Elizabeth Lodge, from the charity, said Ms Zangmo was feeling "a little bit scared" about the procedure, but had shown "extraordinary calmness" so far.

Ms Zangmo would spend the day praying and meditating, she added.

The state of Victoria has offered to cover the A$350,000 (£195,000; $255,000) cost of the operation.

The family is expected to return to the Himalayan kingdom, one of the world's poorest nations, after the procedure.

In 2009, the same hospital performed a successful operation to separate Bangladeshi conjoined twins.

The girls, Trishna and Krishna, who were joined at the head, underwent a life-saving 32-hour operation.

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