Australian surgeons separate conjoined twins from Bhutan

Nima and Dawa were known to share a liver but could also share part of the bowel which would complicate the surgery

Nima and Dawa were known to share a liver but could also share part of the bowel which would complicate the surgery

Bhutanese twins Nima and Dawa's are both in a stable condition after they were separated in a delicate six-hour procedure in Melbourne. "There's nothing better in any operation to be able to go to the parents and say we have been able to take care of your child", he said.

Dr Crameri said they would separate the liver, but one "unknown" was whether the girls shared a bowel.

About 18 people were in the operating theatre - including Bhutanase paediatric surgeon Dr Karma Sherub, who flew into Melbourne this week.

"There weren't any things inside the girls' tummies that we weren't really prepared for", he said.

As the public eagerly waits for good news, the Royal Children's Hospital is not expected to release any information about the progress of the operation until 4pm on Friday, with Dr Crameri to give his first update on the girls early on Saturday morning.

The girls and their mother spent the past month at a retreat outside Melbourne run by the Children First Foundation, which raised money to bring the family to Australia for the surgery.

Elizabeth Lodge, from the Australian-based charity said the girl's mother had felt "a little bit scared", but had shown "extraordinary calmness" before the procedure.




If so it would also be divided, he said, and "our challenge will be to reconstruct their abdominal walls to close it over".

Conjoined twins are very rare - it is thought one in every 200,000 births - and around 40-60% of these births are delivered stillborn.

The doctors planned to split the surgical team in half once the initial separation was complete.

They were separated after a marathon 27-hour surgery, despite doctors initially giving them only a 25% chance of making it. About 70% are female, and they are always identical twins.

"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 lived to age 63 and appeared in traveling exhibitions.

Nima and Dawa have been successfully separated in a six-hour operation.

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