Conjoined Bhutanese twins successfully detached in Australian surgery

Conjoined Bhutanese twins successfully detached in Australian surgery

The family's expenses were apparently funded by an Australian charity outside of Melbourne.

Conjoined twins are rare, and often, separating them is fraught with risks. However, recently, the successful separation of conjoined twins in Australia has been met with positive reactions worldwide.

Conjoined Bhutanese twins operated by Australian surgeons

On Friday, 9th November 2018, Australian surgeons managed to separate 15-month-old Nima and Dawa, a pair of Bhutanese twins whose bodies were fused at the torso.

successful separation of conjoined twins

15-month-old Nima and Dawa, before the successful separation of conjoined twins. | Image Source: CNA

The successful separation of conjoined twins came about after an operation lasting six hours by a team of over 20 doctors and nurses. 

Apparently, the twins only shared a liver. All their major organs were distinct — a massive relief for the operating team.

Joe Crameri led the procedure at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. According to him, the team “didn’t find surprises”. He says that the surgery ended early because “there weren’t any things inside the girls’ tummies that we weren’t really prepared for”. 

Joe praised the young girls’ endurance. He said that they were “very ready for their surgery” and “able to cope very well” with the procedure. Presently, the girls are in “our recovery doing very well,” he says.

Successful separation of conjoined twins lets them lead independent lives into the future

According to Crameri, the following one to two days post-surgery is crucial for the twins to recover. However, he was confident they would be fine. 

The twins and their mum, Bhumchu Zangmo, came to Australia last month with financial support from an Australian charity. Still, doctors postponed the procedure until Friday, 9th November 2018, to make sure the twins had been adequately nourished and ready for the surgery. 

successful separation of conjoined twins

The twins and their mother, Bhumchu Zangmo, after arriving in Australia, before the successful separation of conjoined twins. | Image Source: Stock Photo

The surgeons were aware both Nima and Dawa shared a liver. However, prior to Friday, they were unsure if the girls also shared a bowel, which would have made the procedure harder.

Later, Crameri commented that the twins’ bowels had been twisted a bit, but they weren’t attached “in any major way”.

In one photo the hospital issued, four surgeons can be seen cautiously carrying one of the twins away from her sister on the operating table.

The successful separation of conjoined twins Nima and Dawa marks the start of their own lives.

The family’s expenses had been funded by a charity 

Both Nima, Dawa and their mum spent October in a retreat outdoors from Melbourne. Children First Foundation, the charity who managed the retreat, had collected money to fund the family’s flight and surgical expenses in Australia.

Elizabeth Lodge, a staff from the Foundation, commented that prior to the procedure, both girls already had different personalities.

She says that Nima was “robust” and “tends to…always be on the top” whereas Dawa was “more placid”.

“It will be really interesting to see what will happen once the girls are separated,” Lodge continued,  adding that both girls were good friends with one another. 

The country the family hailed from, Bhutan, is a poor Himalayan kingdom. Medical professionals there lacked the skills to split the twins, who were fused into one body from the chest to the waist.

What are conjoined twins?

Conjoined twins are twin babies that are born with their bodies attached to each other. Certain twins only share very little tissue. Sometimes, both kids might have all the organs and other body parts for normal function. 

successful separation of conjoined twins

The successful separation of conjoined twins also depends on where they’re attached to each other. | Image Source: Stock Photo

Most of the time, though, conjoined twins can be attached in complex ways. Some kids might share:

  • Vital organs – for example, having one heart
  • several anatomical structures. That could some parts of the digestivegenital and urinary systems
  • a big area of the body, such as the whole torso
  • a portion of their brain and skull

Why do some babies end up as conjoined twins?

Like all babies, conjoined twins start off from one fertilized egg. At times, the egg can divide to make two separate, matching twins. Most of the time, the splitting occurs roughly two weeks following the egg’s fertilisation. 

Conjoined twins are thought to happen because the egg splits later than usual, but stops at some point, or because the egg does split in half — but fuses back back together again.

Parents, we hope that this article on the successful separation of conjoined twins brought a smile to your face. If you liked this article, please share it on social media!

References: Channel News Asia, Seattle Children’s Hospital.org, CNN, Guardians

Also Read:

Baby born with two heads!

Conjoined twins separated for the first time in their life

Twins conjoined at the head finally separated after 16 hour surgery

What life is like for a baby born with two faces

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