Doctors separate twins joined at the head

This wonderful news comes to us from the UK.

Two-year-old twins who were joined at the head have successfully undergone surgery at a British Hospital in order to separate their skulls, brains and blood vessels. The surgery was a very complex one and multiple operations were conducted on Safa and MarwaUllah. The twins were born in Pakistan in January 2017 and they had a condition named “Craniopagus”. This condition leaves the girl’s skulls and parts of the brain intertwined and joined.

Dr. David J Dunaway led the surgical team that treated the twins. He says that craniopagus is an extremely rare condition and it is a complex one. The operation took place in February and it was the most complex surgery that the team had ever performed.

Having twins joined at the head with fused skulls yet separate bodies happen to less than one in a million births. Also having the connection extend into the brain tissue is an even rarer condition. About 50 sets of craniopagus twins are born around the world every year out of which only 15 survive beyond the first 30 days of life.

Dunaway said that the operation was helped by the state of the art technology which included virtual reality. There was also advanced imaging and three-dimensional rapid prototyping. This allowed the surgeons to use images of the girl’s brains and the blood vessels in order to plan and practice the surgery in advance so that complications were minimized.

This breakthrough procedure took place at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital and the girls were well enough after the surgery to be discharged from the hospital after four months.

Five months after their final operation, Safa and Marwa are making steady progress. However, the doctors said that a further period of recuperation and rehabilitation will be necessary so that it can maximize the recovery of the twins.

Image source: The Guardian

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