Conjoined twins ready for separation surgery

Leroy Wright
November 11, 2018

"The positioning makes it hard for surgeons Joe Crameri, Tom Clarnette and Michael Nightingale, who are charged with separating the gilrs' shared liver, crossed over bowels and any other internal organs", it states.

Surgeons in Australia Friday began a complex operation to separate 15-month-old Bhutanese conjoined twins Nima and Dawa Pelden.

Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital's head of pediatric surgery, Joe Crameri is leading a team of 18 surgeons, nurses and anesthetists in the operation that may last into the night.

"We could certainly see today the value of the girls having that time with Children First and building up their strength and I think that will significantly help them with their recovery", Dr Crameri said.

The twins were flown from their home in Bhutan to Australia on October 2 for the operation.

Dr Crameri said if there were any unexpected problems during the operation, the hospital had all the resources and experts on hand that it would need.

"We are here earlier because there weren't any things inside the girls' tummies that we weren't really prepared for", he told reporters.

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According to Herald Sun, a newspaper based in Melbourne, Nima and Dawa would be taken for surgery after 8am (Melbourne time) on Novermber 9, where they will be known as Green and Red to avoid mix ups.

Conjoined twins are very rare - it is thought one in every 200,000 births - and around 40-60 per cent of these births are delivered stillborn.

The girls and their mother spent the past month at a retreat outside Melbourne run by the Children First Foundation, which raised money to bring the family to Australia for the surgery.

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

The state of Victoria has offered to cover the A$350,000 (£195,000; $255,000) cost of the operation.

A team of about 25 clinicians, including the Bhutan pediatrician who had treated the girls since birth, successfully separated the baby girls, dividing their liver. They are expected to return to the Himalayan kingdom, one of the world's poorest nations, after the twins have recovered.

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