8 Most Amazing Successful Conjoined Twin Separations
Tags: conjoined twins separated
1Angelica and Angelina Sabuco
The surgery was the second separation of conjoined twins performed at Packard Children's. The first pair was successfully separated in 2007 by a team that Hartman led. The Sabucos' operation was less complex because they shared fewer organs.
2Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf
The boys then returned to Ireland to build up their strength for April's gruelling 14-hour operation at Great Ormond Street, during which, more than 20 medics, including four surgeons and four anaesthetists, worked in shifts to separate them. Although the boys each had their own heart, the organs shared the same safety 'sac', making the op more complex.
Their liver, gut, bladder and pelvis also had to be separated. They have one leg each and are likely to be fitted with prosthetic limbs in the future.
3Maria Paz and Maria Jose Paredes Navarrete
Navarrete said she was waiting for 'a miracle from God' when the high-risk operation began, which was widely followed in the South American country on television and the Internet. The Chilean twins presented a particularly difficult challenge because they were born sharing many of the same internal organs and even urinary system. About 100 people participated in the procedure, including 25 surgeons and anaesthesiologists.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, one out of every 200,000 live births worldwide results in conjoined twins. About 35 per cent survive only one day, while the overall survival rate is from 5 to 25 percent.
UPDATE: One of the twins, Maria Jose Paredes Navarrete, passed away four days after the surgery due to general organ failure.
4Rital and Ritaj Gaboura
Rital and Ritag were born with one of the most serious forms of the condition as they shared blood vessels, and there was significant blood flow between their brains. Ritag supplied half her sister's brain with blood and drained most of it back into her own body to re-oxygenate – meaning her heart was doing most of the work for both of them. Any significant drop in blood pressure during surgery could have caused brain damage. While both girls are as alert as they were before the operation, it could be years before their parents and doctors discover if they have suffered any long-term problems.
5Trevor and Timothy Bainomugisha
The operation was conducted by five specialized surgeons with the support and supervision of a number of doctors and medical personnel. Tim and Trevor were separated without having to perform organ transplants. Owomugisha said that after the operation the twins had started to play, yet they were put to sleep so that they would not feel the pain and that the surgical wound would heal quickly. The twin brothers' status is closely monitored by a doctor at the hospital.
6 Yurelia and Fiorella Rocha-Arias
General pediatric surgeon Gary Hartman, MD, conducted the November 12 2007 symphony—a 23-member, multidisciplinary team inside the operating room and countless others outside.
7Clarence and Carl Aguirre
In October 2003, tissue expanders (pouches filled with saline) were implanted under the boys' scalps. This is common practice in separating conjoined twins, as it creates more skin that can be used to cover the twins' wounds after separation. Over the next ten months, the brothers underwent several more surgeries to tease apart their joined skulls and brains. On August 4, 2004, the final surgery was completed. All of these surgeries were performed at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York by a team led by Dr. James T. Goodrich, a pediatric neurosurgeon and Dr. David A. Staffenberg, a plastic surgeon. They received most of their post-operative rehabilitation at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, New York (Westchester County).
The Aguirre brothers and their mother now live in a donated house in Scarsdale, New York. The twins continue to attend physical therapy at Blythedale. As of July 2008, the twins were both in school with children their own age.
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