Conjoined twins: Australian surgeons try to separate Bhutanese girls

Henrietta Strickland
November 9, 2018

Doctors faced a hard challenge separating the girls; until the first cut was made, they didn't know how many organs the twins shared.

The 15-month-old girls, Nima and Dawa Pelden, had been joined at the torso and shared a liver.

Nima and Dawa face each other, and can not sit down together.

The girls were known to share a liver which would complicate the surgery.

They were brought to Australia with their mother Bhumchu Zangmo in October and have been staying at the Children First Foundation retreat in Kilmore.

They headed into the theatre at 8am on Friday, and doctors planned to administer the anaesthestic about 8.45am. All the doctors, nurses and surgical equipment assigned to each girl were also colour-coded.

Dr Crameri said it was a "joy" to inform their mother, Bhumchu Zangmo, of the success - saying she had been "very grateful".

Ms Zangmo would spend the day praying and meditating, she added. "But we just did not know what we would find".

Dr Crameri said if there were any unexpected problems during the operation, the hospital had all the resources and experts on hand that it would need.

He said the operation was expected to last around six hours and would involve 18 medical staff divided into two teams, one for each girl.

The doctors planned to split the surgical team in half once the initial separation was complete. They could stand but only at the same time.

"We keep making guesses as to how long this will take, but the reality is until the operation starts and ultimately we get to see what is connecting the girls, we won't really know how long", said Joe Crameri, Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital's head of pediatric surgery.

Surgeons in Australia have begun a complex operation to separate Bhutanese conjoined twins.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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