Conjoined Bhutanese twins separated by surgery in Australia
MELBOURNE: Australian surgeons on Friday successfully separated 15-month-old Bhutanese twins, Nima and Dawa, who had been joined at the torso.
The team of more than 20 doctors and nurses spent six hours operating on the pair, who shared a liver but no other major organs, to the relief of the surgeons.
“We didn’t find surprises,” said Joe Crameri, who led the surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
“We are here earlier because there weren’t any things inside the girls’ tummies that we weren’t really prepared for,” he told reporters.
“We saw two young girls who were very ready for their surgery, who were able to cope very well with the surgery and are currently in our recovery doing very well,” he told reporters.
He said the next 24 to 48 hours would be critical to their recovery, but was optimistic about the outcome.
Nima and Dawa, and their mother Bhumchu Zangmo, arrived in Australia a month ago with the help of an Australian charity, but doctors had delayed the surgery until Friday to ensure the twins were well-enough nourished to support the operation.
The girls were known to share a liver, but it was not known before Friday whether they also shared part of the bowel, which would have complicated the surgery.
Crameri said the girls’ bowels were a bit intertwined they were not connected “in any major way”.
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.
“It will be really interesting to see what will happen once the girls are separated,” Lodge said, adding that the twins were “good mates”.
Bhutan is a poor Himalayan kingdom where doctors did not have the expertise to separate the girls, who were joined from the chest to the waist.