Egyptian conjoined twins flown to Riyadh for separation surgery

Sarah and Salma could undergo the operation at the King Abdullah Specialist Hospital for Children if tests indicate delicate operation will be possible

Conjoined Egyptian twins Sarah and Salma are headed for Saudi Arabia to hopefully undergo a delicate separation surgery with a team of expert doctors, Saudi state media said on Thursday.

Doctors will study the girls' case ahead of a possible operation in the coming days at the King Abdullah Specialist Hospital for Children in Jeddah.

They are the 118th case to be evaluated for separation by the team in Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA said.

Conjoined twins are a pair of physically joined twins, often sharing one or more organs. It occurs in one in 50,000 to 200,000 births, according to a 2006 case report by the Sao Paulo University Medical School. In South-West Asia and Africa, they happen once in every 14,000 to 25,000 births.

Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, the head of the Saudi medical team, said the move on Thursday to bring the girls to Riyadh was a "humanitarian effort" by the kingdom "to alleviate human suffering everywhere".

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia brought Yemeni conjoined twins Yassin and Yousef, who were attached at the cranium, for a similar separation surgery.

Conjoined twins Yaseen and Yousef in their home at the village of Al Trais in Yemen’s Seyoun district. Ali Mahmood for The National

The children were born in October 2020 to a family living in a mud-brick house in the impoverished Al Trais village in Yemen's south-east Hadramawt province.

"The cardiogram showed that they have separable brains, which gives us hope for them to survive after separation," Dr Sami Al Amoudi, from the health department in Hadramawt, told The National in April ahead of the operation.

No update on the status of the Yemeni twins has since been released.

Updated: November 11th 2021, 11:19 AM