Twins conjoined at the head separated after 12-hour surgery
New technologies give conjoined twins a better chance of living a full life.
A pair of conjoined twin girls have been successfully separated after a 12-hour surgery.
Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani, a consultant paediatric neurosurgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital and co-founder of medical charity Gemini Untwined, led the surgery and team at Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheba, Israel.
This marks the third separation surgery to have been performed by the charity's team since it was set up in 2018, and the first of which to have been performed outside of the UK.
Speaking on the surgery, Dr Owase Jeelani told reporters: “I am delighted that the surgery has gone well and the girls, their family and the local team have had a good outcome.
“It is through this process of teamwork and knowledge-sharing globally that we can hope to improve the outcome for all children and families that find themselves in this difficult position.”
The twins, who are just one year old, were joined at the head. It is estimated that around fifty sets of craniopagus conjoined twins like them are born globally each year, with only 15 thought to survive beyond the first 30 days of life.
Around half of these cases would be candidates for successful surgical separation, which the charity hopes to make more accessible.
Kamal Rahman, another founder of Gemini Untwined, said: “It’s exciting that we have now helped three families from different countries with this lifechanging surgery.
“Gemini seeks to provide not only research and technical support to the local medical teams but also financial support to facilitate the complex surgery and post-operative rehabilitation where needed.”
Last month, a conjoined twin survivor gave birth in the same hospital she and her sister were separated in in what surgeons called a "medical triumph."