Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Australian doctors operate into the night on conjoined twins

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Australian doctors operate into the night on conjoined twins

MELBOURNE: A team of Australian surgeons worked all day yesterday on a delicate and complicated surgery to separate twin sisters who are joined at the top of the head.

The 2-year-old Bangladeshi orphans, Trishna and Krishna, share parts of their skull, brain tissue and blood flow.

Doctors expected the operation, which began in the morning, to take at least 16 hours, with a team of 16 surgeons and nurses.

"I am cautiously optimistic," plastic surgeon Tony Holmes said after the surgery began.

Holmes said the girls were sedated on Sunday night and that an angiogram was performed before the operation. Doctors were first working to remove the bone at the back half of the girls' heads.

"It is a stressful time for any group of surgeons with this sort of case," Holmes said. "They only come along really once in a lifetime and I think everybody has been on tenterhooks. We have had a few ups and downs with these children because of medical problems."

The girls were brought to Australia in 2007 by the Children First Foundation and have already had several operations in preparation for separation. Doctors say the chance of a successful separation is 25 percent. There is a 50 percent chance the girls will suffer brain damage and a 25 percent chance one of the sisters will die.

taken from : China Daily

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