| GEO Health|
| Iraqi conjoined twins separated in KSA|
| Updated at: 1327 PST, Saturday, July 17, 2010|
RIYADH: The Siamese twins from the Iraqi city of Najaf, Zainab and Ruqiya, were separated successfully by a paramedical team headed by Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City in Riyadh (KAMC).
The twins were born on June 5 and were brought to Riyadh on June 25 on a special directive from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for separation at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City in Riyadh (KAMC).
On Monday, Al-Rabeeah announced that the pair of Siamese twins from Iraq will undergo an emergency separation surgery since their health condition was critical.
The nine-phase operation started at 7:30 a.m. on Friday and following a chain of surgical performance, the twins were laid on two tables at 4:15 p.m. on completion of the eighth stage of the surgery. Following the surgery at 5:30 p.m., the twins were taken to the Intensive Pediatric Unit (IPU) of the hospital and they were kept on the ventilators.
According to Dr. Hala Al-Alem, chief of the IPU, the twins will be under intensive care during the next few days and they will be subsequently taken to the general ward depending on the progress of their improvement.
Al-Rabeeah said that one of the twins, Ruqiya, had a major anomaly in her head, referred to as encephalocele which means an extrusion of a large cyst filled with brain fluid and the brain stem and cerebellum.
This anomaly created major difficulties to the twin causing respiratory arrest and bradicardia (slowing of the heartbeat) and the medical team agreed that this anomaly is usually not compatible with life and that this twin was potentially endangering the life of her sister Zainab. The twin Zainab was stable, however, she also had an anomaly in her brain and spinal column which would cause mental and developmental delay as a result.
Therefore, he added that the medical team felt that there was urgency to proceed with the separation as twin Ruqiya had required artificial respiration and was also requiring repeated aspiration of the cyst in her brain with each time endangering the life of the other twin.
With these findings, Al-Rabeeah said the team decided to proceed with the separation on Friday with an operative risk of 50 percent and also noted that the other twin Ruqiya had a poor future prognosis. "This has been fully explained to the father who has accepted the risk and the outcome and has agreed to the procedure," the minister said.
The father of the twins, Naseer Muhammad Hassan, and his wife were delighted to see the twins being brought to the IPU in two separate beds.
"We thank Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for his magnanimity and the medical team for their splendid performance in separating our infants successfully," Hassan said, adding that all praise be to Allah.
King Abdul Aziz Medical City has so far conducted 27 successful surgeries to separate Siamese twins from 16 different countries. Earlier this year, a 70-strong team led by the minister successfully separated two conjoined Jordanian twins at KAMC.
Recently, three-month-old Jordanian twins Mohammed and Amjad, who were joined at the abdomen and chest and shared a liver, a gall bladder and intestines, were separated after six hours of surgery. Other twins have been from Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Iraq, Oman, Cameroon and Syria.