Saudi team completes 50th successful procedure to separate conjoined twins

The Yemeni girl underwent more than seven hours of surgery

Aisha is looked after by the medical team at the King Abdullah Specialised Children's Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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The head of Saudi Arabia's specialist team for separating conjoined twins on Thursday announced its 50th procedure had been a success.

Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah said the team successfully separated a non-developing twin from a Yemeni girl named Aisha.

The procedure took seven and a half hours at the King Abdullah Specialised Children's Hospital, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs in Riyadh under the directive of King Salman.

The Saudi Conjoined Twins Programme began in 1990 and its team has reviewed 117 cases from 22 countries across three continents.

The kingdom covered medical care, transport and accommodation costs for Aisha and her family.

Aisha, even though fully developed, was born with an extended pelvis area and an extra pair of lower extremities.

The complex procedure included 25 doctors and specialists, as well as technicians and nursing staff.

The medical team in charge of the operation on Aisha at King Abdullah Specialised Children's Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Aisha’s parents watched the procedure on a live stream at the hospital’s conference hall.

Dr Al Rabeeah said that after the anaesthesics team, led by Dr Nezar Al Zughaibi, had put the girl to sleep, tubes were inserted to ensure the accurate monitoring of her condition during the operation.

Dr Fayez Al Modhen performed a diagnostic endoscopy of the girl’s urinary and reproductive systems.

Dr Obaid Al Mishail then performed plastic surgery, which included protecting skin and membranes from the limbs after the separation.

The orthopaedic team led by Dr Ayman Al Jawadi separated the pelvis and limbs.

Then the paediatric urology team helped to separate and rebuild the urogenital system, followed by a paediatric surgery procedure performed by Dr Mohammed Al Namshan.

Aisha was eventually transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit for monitoring where it is expected her rehabilitation will take eight to 10 weeks, Dr Al Rabeeah said.

Updated: July 30, 2021, 1:43 AM