Conjoined Bhutanese twins separated after six-hour surgery

Conjoined twins who flew nearly 6,000 miles for a life-changing operation have been separated by doctors in ...

Posted: Nov 9, 2018 7:26 PM
Updated: Nov 9, 2018 7:26 PM

Conjoined twins who flew nearly 6,000 miles for a life-changing operation have been separated by doctors in Australia.

The 15-month-old twin girls, Nima and Dawa Pelden, were joined at the stomach and had grown up facing each other, unable to move independently.

Demographic groups

Families and children

Family members and relatives

Health and medical

Medical treatments and procedures

Population and demographics

Society

Surgery

Twins and multiple births

Dr. Joe Crameri, head of pediatric surgery at Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital, said Friday that the surgery was a "relief" and a "joy."

"There is nothing better in any operation than to be able to go to the parents and say, 'we've been able to look after your child,' " he said. "I feel confident that they will be able to recover from this and go forward."

The twins were flown from their home in Bhutan to Australia on October 2 for the operation.

The delicate procedure took place over six hours and involved about 25 surgeons, nurses and anesthetists, according to CNN affiliate 9 News.

Crameri said there were no surprises, despite concerns that the girls' bowel may have been conjoined.

"We were very fortunate in that there wasn't any significant bowel attachment and while it was all swimming next to one another it wasn't actually connected in any major way," Crameri said.

He said that the girls' mother was "very grateful for everything" the doctors were able to do.

'They're getting cranky'

Funds for the girls' operation, which estimated to cost about $180,000 (250,000 AUD), according to 9 News, was raised by Children First Foundation, a Melbourne-based nonprofit.

"Mom said the girls are getting a little bit frustrated with each other, as you would at 14 months," the charity's CEO Elizabeth Lodge said last month.

"Like any siblings, they're getting cranky, so mom's really looking forward to the operation happening sooner rather than later."

The formerly conjoined McDonald twins' amazing journey home

Born via caesarean section last year, the girls are believed to be Bhutan's first conjoined twins.

As well as the issues with mobility and comfort, Lodge said the twins had recently been losing weight, which had been a concern to doctors who are now observing them closely.

Several members of the surgical team had worked on the operation to separate conjoined Bangladeshi twins Trishna and Krishna in 2009.

They were separated after a marathon 27-hour surgery, despite doctors initially giving them only a 25% chance of making it.

Difficult surgery

Conjoined twins occur once every 200,000 live births, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. About 70% are female, and they are always identical twins.

Scientists believe that conjoined twins develop from a single fertilized egg that fails to separate completely as it divides.

"Although two fetuses will develop from this embryo, they will remain physically connected -- most often at the chest, abdomen or pelvis. Conjoined twins may also share one or more internal organs," according to the Mayo Clinic.

"The success of surgery depends on where the twins are joined and how many and which organs are shared, as well as the experience and skill of the surgical team."

They were previously commonly referred to as "Siamese twins," a name that originated with Eng and Chang Bunker, a set of conjoined twins who were born in Siam (now Thailand) in 1811. They lived to age 63 and appeared in traveling exhibitions. Chang and Eng both married and fathered a total of 21 children between them.

While separation surgeries of twins joined at the abdomen and other parts of their bodies, twins joined at the head are at a far greater risk.

The case of two US boys joined at the top of their skulls attracted global attention in 2016 as doctors successfully operated to separate them.

Huntsville/Madison
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 45°
Muscle Shoals
Mostly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 49°
Huntsville/Madison
Mostly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 45°
Decatur
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
Fort Payne
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 47°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 429655

Reported Deaths: 6283
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63040956
Mobile30794557
Madison27486201
Tuscaloosa20996268
Montgomery19352315
Shelby18833120
Baldwin16653184
Lee12749102
Morgan12389119
Etowah11861176
Calhoun11292201
Marshall10290113
Houston8746156
Limestone813276
Cullman8125106
Elmore7999104
DeKalb776599
Lauderdale768698
St. Clair7651121
Talladega6309108
Walker5954174
Jackson586341
Colbert539873
Blount537683
Autauga525755
Coffee450456
Dale402981
Franklin369948
Russell340711
Chilton338966
Covington332668
Escambia326043
Dallas308896
Chambers293170
Clarke287833
Tallapoosa2641107
Pike255230
Marion248953
Lawrence246649
Winston229535
Bibb218847
Geneva205446
Marengo202829
Pickens197531
Hale179542
Barbour176036
Fayette172928
Butler170858
Cherokee161930
Henry156523
Monroe149818
Randolph142135
Washington139126
Clay127645
Crenshaw121544
Cleburne119023
Lamar119021
Macon118637
Lowndes112036
Wilcox105121
Bullock101128
Perry99019
Conecuh95720
Sumter89626
Greene76623
Coosa61015
Choctaw51624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 694291

Reported Deaths: 8556
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby771571142
Davidson71578678
Knox39306418
Hamilton35049330
Rutherford33516288
Unassigned23161126
Williamson21679141
Sumner18454232
Out of TN1601379
Montgomery14719149
Wilson14622159
Sullivan12736212
Blount12146127
Washington12010193
Maury11079125
Bradley1093494
Sevier10589110
Putnam10001148
Madison9205180
Robertson774185
Hamblen7088112
Anderson6864107
Greene6655108
Tipton626865
Coffee567382
Gibson5671112
Cumberland544173
Dickson543579
Bedford535690
Roane526379
Carter5145115
Lawrence514269
McMinn511773
Warren502653
Loudon500050
Jefferson483876
Dyer478683
Monroe462763
Hawkins449970
Franklin415263
Fayette402151
Obion401980
Rhea384756
Lincoln381244
Marshall349238
Cocke348657
Cheatham343930
Weakley341848
Henderson334658
Campbell328640
Giles325373
Carroll314059
White312643
Hardeman311252
Hardin300048
Lauderdale295131
Macon291450
Wayne265020
Henry262958
Overton256145
DeKalb244142
McNairy242242
Haywood241045
Smith233028
Marion230831
Trousdale229314
Scott227331
Hickman225834
Claiborne217629
Fentress214233
Grainger211237
Johnson203033
Morgan191215
Crockett181338
Chester175838
Bledsoe175411
Unicoi168344
Cannon158920
Lake156620
Decatur148127
Polk144517
Union140723
Grundy140321
Sequatchie138318
Humphreys134417
Benton132535
Lewis128620
Meigs116416
Stewart107020
Jackson105423
Perry95325
Clay94626
Houston94222
Moore8179
Pickett68520
Van Buren6667
Hancock4076

Community Events