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
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 81°
Florence
Few Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 81°
Fayetteville
Overcast
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Decatur
Overcast
76° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 76°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12186230
Mobile9269204
Montgomery6350148
Madison512227
Tuscaloosa400269
Baldwin332223
Shelby311932
Marshall300134
Unassigned287856
Lee255442
Morgan227015
Etowah196728
DeKalb172113
Elmore163337
Calhoun162713
Walker147964
Houston133412
Dallas129823
Russell12672
St. Clair125214
Limestone122713
Franklin121520
Cullman117112
Colbert112213
Lauderdale111113
Autauga103021
Escambia98115
Talladega94613
Jackson8904
Chambers83238
Tallapoosa82778
Dale79823
Butler75435
Blount7453
Chilton7386
Coffee7255
Covington71620
Pike6727
Barbour5645
Lowndes56124
Marion54724
Marengo52914
Clarke4919
Hale45926
Bullock44411
Winston43511
Perry4324
Wilcox41110
Monroe3964
Randolph39210
Bibb3844
Pickens3769
Conecuh37310
Sumter36018
Lawrence3251
Macon31613
Washington31512
Crenshaw3073
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2497
Greene24711
Henry2473
Geneva2430
Clay2255
Lamar2052
Fayette1785
Cleburne1211
Coosa952
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 114098

Reported Deaths: 1144
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby21924298
Davidson19812208
Rutherford625453
Hamilton580347
Knox418638
Williamson336322
Sumner326471
Unassigned29285
Out of TN279314
Wilson215223
Montgomery178113
Bradley177112
Sevier17636
Putnam164613
Trousdale15766
Robertson147519
Hamblen131113
Blount11868
Tipton11379
Washington11142
Maury11077
Madison95714
Bedford89011
Sullivan85911
Macon84713
Hardeman84312
Lake7580
Loudon6863
Bledsoe6741
Fayette6468
Anderson6376
Dickson6301
Gibson6152
Dyer5797
Cheatham5546
Rhea5141
Jefferson5133
McMinn49820
Lawrence4976
Henderson4830
Obion4644
Warren4544
Carter4525
Coffee4482
Lauderdale4457
Hardin4267
Cocke4212
Haywood4145
Greene3986
Roane3982
Cumberland3976
Smith3933
Hawkins3915
Monroe3809
Giles36012
McNairy3355
Weakley3293
DeKalb3261
Franklin2964
Marshall2713
Lincoln2591
Carroll2513
Crockett2464
Hickman2400
Claiborne2350
White2323
Henry2310
Campbell2241
Wayne2222
Johnson2140
Marion2104
Chester2012
Grainger1810
Polk1813
Decatur1742
Overton1411
Unicoi1410
Union1330
Cannon1310
Humphreys1133
Benton1111
Jackson1091
Scott1050
Grundy1042
Meigs990
Sequatchie960
Morgan941
Perry770
Fentress760
Hancock761
Stewart720
Clay660
Lewis621
Houston540
Moore530
Van Buren330
Pickett271

Community Events