3-year-old conjoined twins with fused brain are successfully separated in miracle surgery

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By VT

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Three-year-old twins from Brazil who were joined at the head have been successfully separated, BBC News reports.

Bernardo and Arthur Lima, who were born with fused brains, underwent a series of surgeries in Rio de Janeiro - with the help of UK-based pediatric surgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The toddlers had seven operations at the Instituto Estadual do Cerebro Paulo Niemeyer which totaled more than 27 hours of time spent under the knife in the final surgery alone and involved almost 100 medical staff members.

It made for one of the most complex surgeries carried out on conjoined patients, per Gemini Untwined, the charity - founded by Jeelani in 2018 - that funded the surgeries.

"The successful separation of Bernardo and Arthur is a remarkable achievement by the team in Rio and a fantastic example of why the work of Gemini Untwined is so valuable," Jeelani said in a statement obtained by The Independent.

"Not only have we provided a new future for the boys and their family, we have equipped the local team with the capabilities and confidence to undertake such complex work successfully again in the future.

"It is through this process of teamwork and knowledge-sharing globally that we can hope to improve the outcome for all children and families that find themselves in this difficult position."

"This is only possible through generous donations from members of the public," Jeelani concluded.

London-based doctors in London and Rio de Janeiro spent several months trialing methods which used virtual reality projections of the twins based on CT and MRI scans.

Jeelani said the surgical procedures saw doctors in different countries wearing headsets and operate in the same "virtual reality room" together.

The doctor said that previous unsuccessful attempts to separate the twins resulted in their anatomy being complicated by scar tissue. As a result, he had his concerns about the potentially life-threatening procedure.

Jeelani admitted to being exhausted after the 27-hour surgery, which saw him take no more than four 15-minute breaks for food and water. But he added that it was an incredible feeling to see the youngsters' family looking ecstatic that all had gone to plan.

He went on to say that, as is to be expected with conjoined twins after such a big procedure, the little ones' blood pressures and heart rates shot up - until they were reunited some days later and their hands touched.

The boys are still recovering in hospital and will be receiving six months of rehabilitation as they navigate their new lives as entirely separate individuals.

Featured image credit: Jacob Lund / Alamy

3-year-old conjoined twins with fused brain are successfully separated in miracle surgery

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

Three-year-old twins from Brazil who were joined at the head have been successfully separated, BBC News reports.

Bernardo and Arthur Lima, who were born with fused brains, underwent a series of surgeries in Rio de Janeiro - with the help of UK-based pediatric surgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The toddlers had seven operations at the Instituto Estadual do Cerebro Paulo Niemeyer which totaled more than 27 hours of time spent under the knife in the final surgery alone and involved almost 100 medical staff members.

It made for one of the most complex surgeries carried out on conjoined patients, per Gemini Untwined, the charity - founded by Jeelani in 2018 - that funded the surgeries.

"The successful separation of Bernardo and Arthur is a remarkable achievement by the team in Rio and a fantastic example of why the work of Gemini Untwined is so valuable," Jeelani said in a statement obtained by The Independent.

"Not only have we provided a new future for the boys and their family, we have equipped the local team with the capabilities and confidence to undertake such complex work successfully again in the future.

"It is through this process of teamwork and knowledge-sharing globally that we can hope to improve the outcome for all children and families that find themselves in this difficult position."

"This is only possible through generous donations from members of the public," Jeelani concluded.

London-based doctors in London and Rio de Janeiro spent several months trialing methods which used virtual reality projections of the twins based on CT and MRI scans.

Jeelani said the surgical procedures saw doctors in different countries wearing headsets and operate in the same "virtual reality room" together.

The doctor said that previous unsuccessful attempts to separate the twins resulted in their anatomy being complicated by scar tissue. As a result, he had his concerns about the potentially life-threatening procedure.

Jeelani admitted to being exhausted after the 27-hour surgery, which saw him take no more than four 15-minute breaks for food and water. But he added that it was an incredible feeling to see the youngsters' family looking ecstatic that all had gone to plan.

He went on to say that, as is to be expected with conjoined twins after such a big procedure, the little ones' blood pressures and heart rates shot up - until they were reunited some days later and their hands touched.

The boys are still recovering in hospital and will be receiving six months of rehabilitation as they navigate their new lives as entirely separate individuals.

Featured image credit: Jacob Lund / Alamy