According to reports, surgical teams in Rome and Dallas successfully split conjoined twins in two separate procedures over the weekend.
Two four-month-old Greek twin girls who were fused at the temporal part of their skulls had a 12-hour surgery in Rome to give them complete autonomy. Unlike in prior cases, the twins did not share any organs, therefore the procedure proceeded smoothly. The twins were successfully divided by a team of surgeons who worked in two shifts.
Meanwhile, in the United States, a much more complex operation was completed in Dallas. Two-year-old Ahmed and Muhamed Ibrahim, Siamese brothers from Egypt, were separated after a grueling 35-hour operation involving 60 surgeons and doctors of other specializations. The brothers grew together at the top of their heads and had one blood-supplying artery for two. The single circulatory system was the main difficulty of the operation, mindful of previous unsuccessful cases, such as the Iranian Lala and Ladan Bijani who died on the operating table in Singapore.
To cover the babies’ skulls, which were separated during the operation, doctors used fragments of skin and tissues taken from the twins’ thighs. The children are now being kept in a state of artificial coma, which will be extended to five days to rule out any brain damage. The process of reconstructing the skin with plastic surgery is expected to take another year.
The parents of the Egyptian twins gave their consent to the risky operation a year ago when their condition began to deteriorate. They could hardly close their eyes, move their necks, and swallow. When the head of the surgical team, Kenneth Shapiro, came out of the operating room to the waiting family and uttered the secret phrase “two boys,” the twins’ father threw himself on his neck and lost consciousness.
The twins’ successful separation demonstrates the ability and devotion of the medical personnel participating in the surgeries. The twins’ family thanked the medical personnel involved, and the globe celebrated this incredible feat in contemporary medicine.