Melbourne: Conjoined Bhutanese twins with shared liver successfully separated
In a rare operation, surgeons in Australia successfully operated two 15-month-old conjoined twins from Bhutan in a six-hour-long surgery. The girls, Nima and Dawa Pelden, had been joined at the torso. The operation, which involved 18 surgeons, took place in Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. After the operation, the doctors said that they were fairly certain that the twins would fully recover. Here's more.
The proud lead surgeon expresses his joy
"There's nothing better in any operation to be able to go to the parents and say we have been able to take care of your child...We always felt confident that we could achieve this," said Dr. Joe Crameri, the lead surgeon.
The girls shared a liver and a bowel
Nima and Dawa had grown up facing each other, and could not sit down together. They shared a liver, and a bowel, both of which were successfully divided during the surgery. The girls had been brought to Melbourne by their mother, Bhumchu Zangmo, last month. However, the operation had been delayed till Friday to address the girls' nutritional needs.
Conjoined twins are very rare; survival, even rarer
Conjoined twins are very rare, and it's thought that one in 200,000 births produces a set of conjoined twins. Among them, 40%-60% are delivered stillborn, and separation operations are extremely rare.
A charity is paying for the expensive operation
The rare operation was one of the very few which are carried out throughout the world in a year. The cost of the operation - a whopping $255,000 - will be borne by the Children First Foundation, an Australia-based charity which brought the girls and their mother to Melbourne in the first place. The family is expected to return to Bhutan soon.