Doctors successfully separate conjoined twins

Melbourne doctors have successfully separated a pair of 15-month-old conjoined twins.

Nima and Dawa Pelden from Bhutan were joined at the abdomen and share a liver. 

Doctors were faced with a difficult challenge separating the sisters, as until the first cut, they didn't know how many organs the pair shared. 

The worst-case scenario would have been if they shared a vital component.

A team of 18 doctors worked for eight hours to separate the twins.
A team of 18 doctors worked for eight hours to separate the twins. Photo credit: RHC Melbourne Children's Hospital

"But there is nothing on the image that suggests that," Dr Joe Crameri told The Sydney Morning Herald. 

Dr Crameri said one of the big risks was using anaesthetic as doctors did not know how twin would react after the other received it. 

They were brought to Melbourne along with their mother to undergo surgery by a charity and after eight hours doctors say the operation was a success. 

Around 18 specialists in two teams, one for each girl, took part in the risky and complex operation at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. 

The girls are now recovering well and are expected to spend a month in hospital following the surgery.

Conjoined twins are very rare and only a few separations are carried out each year. 

It is thought one in every 200,000 births, conjoined twins are born.


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