According to a national newspaper published Jan 31, a team of Swiss doctors performed miracle separation surgery on week-old conjoined twins, making the babies the youngest ever to be successfully separated.
The surgery lasted about five hours, and was carried out by five surgeons assisted by six anaesthesiologists and a pair of nurses last month. The identical twins, Lydia and Maya, were born on Dec. 2 two months earlier. They also have a triplet sister, who fortunately was not born conjoined.
The two sisters had a fused chest and liver. Usually, doctors do not perform separation before a few months have passed.
Yet, after just a week, the conjoined sisters started to display health problems. While one of them had high blood pressure, the other one had low blood pressure, or hypotension. Doctors knew that the conditions could be fatal to the frail babies. So, they thought that the best solution would be to attempt surgery despite the babies’ incredibly young age.
Surgeons were running out of time so they decided to perform a procedure that was never been performed on such young conjoined twins. Barbara Wildhaber, the surgeon that coordinated the team of doctors during the Dec. 10 procedure, said that the most risky part was separating the infants’ livers.
The babies were under such pressure that doctors were expecting for them to die at any moment, Wildhaber said. But against all odds, the twins were successfully separated. Doctors noted that they would remember the procedure for the rest of their lives.
“It was magnificent!,”
The sisters’ condition is now stable, and their mother is already breast-feeding them. They even put on some weight since surgery, doctors noted. Across the world, there are only 200 pairs of formerly conjoined twins that have been successfully separated.
Conjoined twins or Siamese twins are born with parts of their bodies and organs fused together. The chances for a conjoined birth to occur are one in 200,000. Sadly, half of these babies are born dead, while the chances of survival after birth are incredibly low – between five and 25 percent.
Doctors explained that conjoined twins come from a single egg that failed to split completely as it does in the case of regular identical twins.
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