Doctors from Paediatric Hospital No 2 and Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City have collaborated and successfully separated 13-month-old conjoined twins who were joined below the torso.
The twins, Dieu Thi Bao Han and Dieu Thi Bao An, who hail from the southern province of Binh Phuoc, were hospitalised last August and since then had undergone four skin-related surgeries.
Professor Tran Dong A, advisor to the hospital, said doctors decided to separate the twins because it was life-threatening to keep them conjoined for long. It took the doctors a long time to arrive at a decision as they considered carefully all the risks associated with the major surgery and the possible after-effects.
To limit risks during surgery, 40 doctors from both hospitals were assigned to the procedure. The surgery lasted for nearly 12 hours, and was successful beyond expectation, the professor said.
The conjoined twins before the surgery.
Dang Do Thanh Can, head of surgical ward of Paediatric Hospital No 2, said the toughest issue was ensuring that the twins’ legs would work normally after operation, as they were joined at the spinal cord and were really small. Doctors used micro-surgery tools and microscopes during the surgery.
The twins’ condition is stable now. They are drinking milk and have had normal bowel movement.
Professor A said that usually, across the world, most conjoined twins are joined at the chest and belly. After 1975, in Viet Nam, this is the first twins to have been joined at the anal region and spinal cord. So far, world over, there have been only 29 similar cases.
The success of the surgery is a statement of Vietnamese doctors’ skills and achievement internationally, he said. VNS