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Conjoined Twins – How they were separate

Conjoined Twins – How they    were separate
July 31
13:25 2019

A team of British surgeons  at the famous Great Ormond Street Children’s Pediatric Hospital in London have succeeded in separating two little girls who were born sharing the same head. Each girl had  separate brains, but these were fused together with a tangle of nerves and blood vessels.

The team, headed by lead surgeons Owasi Jeelani and  David Dunway,  set out  to separate the girls so that each could live independently of each other. They  also had  to reconstruct the  fragments of skull which protect the brain.

A wealthy Pakistani businessman, Murtasa Lakhani, agreed to meet the expenses of the surgery because the twins, Safa and Marwa, are from Pakistan.                     .    

Conjoined twins develop from  a single fertilized egg. They are always identical, but they have different personalities.  Safa and Marva  were joined at the top of the head, crown to crown, facing opposite directions.

The first surgery took place  on October 15, 2018. It lasted 15 hours. Twenty surgeons were assembled for this first phase. the surgery  had  to be done in stages because it is necessary for some parts to heal before the surgeons can  go on.

The second surgical procedure  took place one month later This was to divide the shared veins and arteries so that each brain will have its own set. This procedure lasted more than 20 hours.   Four months later the third surgery   took place. This  procedure was  to separate the girls by cutting through  their conjoined skull. The girls had  already endured 35 hours of surgery but  now they have to go through  7 hours more.

In this  procedure the remaining connections  of  bone, brain and tissue are severed, and  the  two  small bodies are finally separated.

From  here on the girls went to separate surgeries to remake their skulls. This was done by an expert plastic surgeon using a 3D camera to make the skull segments.

Acknowledgements to  Rachael  Buchanan, who wrote the story for the BBC.

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