Surgeons Succeed in Separating Conjoined Twins in Hours-Long Operation

Surgeons in Australia successfully separated conjoined twins from Bhutan in a delicate operation lasting almost six hours, on Nov. 9.

The 15-month-old girls, Nima and Dawa, were joined from the lower chest to just above the pelvis, and shared a liver.

Doctors at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital also went into the procedure unsure if the girls shared a bowel, with the hospital’s head of paediatric surgery, Dr. Joe Crameri, warning little could be known for certain about the difficulty of the operation until it was underway.

However, the 18-strong operating team emerged in the mid-afternoon declaring the procedure had been a success.

Dr. Crameri said his team encountered no major problems relating to bowel attachments and the major challenge had been to reconstruct the twins’ abdomens.

While the following 24 to 48 hours is anticipated to be critical, Dr. Crameri said the girls would be closely monitored and his team felt confident there would be a good result.

He added the girls’ mother, Bhumchu Zangmo, was happy and grateful.

A team of surgeons, nurses, and anesthetists were involved in the procedure.

The twins had been brought to Australia in September, but the operation was postponed for some four weeks after last-minute checks revealed the sisters were not ready.