Conjoined twins: Bhutanese girls separated in six-hour surgery

09 Novembre, 2018, 07:59 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • The twins flew to Australia last month for the groundbreaking operation. Source 7NewsMore

Surgeons in Australia begun separating conjoined twins from Bhutan in a delicate operation expected to last most of the day.

"We keep making guesses as to how long this will take, but the reality is until the operation starts and ultimately we get to see what is connecting the girls, we won't really know how long", said Joe Crameri, Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital's head of pediatric surgery.

The sisters, who were brought to Australia with their mother in October, are joined at the torso and share a liver.

The doctor leading the team of 18 surgeons, nurses and anesthetists said the operation possibly could go into the night.

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

Nima and Dawa, and their mother Bhumchu Zangmo, arrived in Australia a month ago with the help of an Australian charity but doctors had delayed the surgery until Friday to ensure the twins were well-enough nourished to support the operation.

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Dr Crameri said one of the risks was the use of anaesthetic, as they did not know how one twin would react to the other receiving it. They can stand if they do so at the same time.

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

On Thursday afternoon, the twins travelled to Melbourne from Kilmore, where they had been staying at the country retreat of the Children First Foundation.

Elizabeth Lodge, from the charity, said Ms Zangmo had felt "a little bit scared", but had shown "extraordinary calmness" before the procedure.

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

The procedure and recovery are expected to cost at least $350,000 and the state government has offered to pay the bill.

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