Conjoined Bhutanese twins separated after six-hour surgery

Conjoined twins who flew nearly 6,000 miles for a life-changing operation have been separated by doctors in ...

Posted: Nov 9, 2018 8:26 PM
Updated: Nov 9, 2018 8:26 PM

Conjoined twins who flew nearly 6,000 miles for a life-changing operation have been separated by doctors in Australia.

The 15-month-old twin girls, Nima and Dawa Pelden, were joined at the stomach and had grown up facing each other, unable to move independently.

Demographic groups

Families and children

Family members and relatives

Health and medical

Medical treatments and procedures

Population and demographics

Society

Surgery

Twins and multiple births

Dr. Joe Crameri, head of pediatric surgery at Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital, said Friday that the surgery was a "relief" and a "joy."

"There is nothing better in any operation than to be able to go to the parents and say, 'we've been able to look after your child,' " he said. "I feel confident that they will be able to recover from this and go forward."

The twins were flown from their home in Bhutan to Australia on October 2 for the operation.

The delicate procedure took place over six hours and involved about 25 surgeons, nurses and anesthetists, according to CNN affiliate 9 News.

Crameri said there were no surprises, despite concerns that the girls' bowel may have been conjoined.

"We were very fortunate in that there wasn't any significant bowel attachment and while it was all swimming next to one another it wasn't actually connected in any major way," Crameri said.

He said that the girls' mother was "very grateful for everything" the doctors were able to do.

'They're getting cranky'

Funds for the girls' operation, which estimated to cost about $180,000 (250,000 AUD), according to 9 News, was raised by Children First Foundation, a Melbourne-based nonprofit.

"Mom said the girls are getting a little bit frustrated with each other, as you would at 14 months," the charity's CEO Elizabeth Lodge said last month.

"Like any siblings, they're getting cranky, so mom's really looking forward to the operation happening sooner rather than later."

The formerly conjoined McDonald twins' amazing journey home

Born via caesarean section last year, the girls are believed to be Bhutan's first conjoined twins.

As well as the issues with mobility and comfort, Lodge said the twins had recently been losing weight, which had been a concern to doctors who are now observing them closely.

Several members of the surgical team had worked on the operation to separate conjoined Bangladeshi twins Trishna and Krishna in 2009.

They were separated after a marathon 27-hour surgery, despite doctors initially giving them only a 25% chance of making it.

Difficult surgery

Conjoined twins occur once every 200,000 live births, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. About 70% are female, and they are always identical twins.

Scientists believe that conjoined twins develop from a single fertilized egg that fails to separate completely as it divides.

"Although two fetuses will develop from this embryo, they will remain physically connected -- most often at the chest, abdomen or pelvis. Conjoined twins may also share one or more internal organs," according to the Mayo Clinic.

"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 were previously commonly referred to as "Siamese twins," a name that originated with Eng and Chang Bunker, a set of conjoined twins who were born in Siam (now Thailand) in 1811. They lived to age 63 and appeared in traveling exhibitions. Chang and Eng both married and fathered a total of 21 children between them.

While separation surgeries of twins joined at the abdomen and other parts of their bodies, twins joined at the head are at a far greater risk.

The case of two US boys joined at the top of their skulls attracted global attention in 2016 as doctors successfully operated to separate them.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1000163

Reported Deaths: 16309
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1347632106
Lake660041156
Allen57441793
Hamilton46100461
St. Joseph44109607
Elkhart35696507
Vanderburgh32087477
Tippecanoe27796257
Johnson24902443
Hendricks23738354
Porter22802362
Madison18614404
Clark18424250
Vigo17347301
Monroe15180197
LaPorte15046250
Delaware14984259
Howard14626287
Kosciusko12217147
Hancock11630175
Bartholomew11505179
Warrick11255189
Floyd11013214
Wayne10897250
Grant9964218
Morgan9404176
Boone8863116
Dubois8227130
Dearborn817093
Henry8139151
Noble7984106
Marshall7838134
Cass7499119
Lawrence7403170
Shelby7138114
Jackson694088
Gibson6533113
Harrison644491
Huntington633999
Knox6273106
DeKalb626397
Montgomery6208109
Miami589797
Putnam575377
Clinton570271
Whitley560455
Steuben554675
Wabash5279101
Jasper524475
Jefferson506996
Ripley495685
Adams476073
Daviess4616113
Scott435869
Greene422096
Wells420987
Clay420260
White415962
Decatur4133101
Fayette404286
Jennings385160
Posey375343
LaGrange353978
Washington353249
Randolph341999
Spencer337342
Fountain332558
Sullivan326752
Starke313369
Owen312070
Fulton306567
Orange291762
Jay280445
Perry264752
Franklin264042
Carroll259132
Rush258832
Vermillion255454
Parke230026
Pike227943
Tipton226659
Blackford190540
Pulaski181855
Crawford158623
Newton156048
Benton150217
Brown144547
Martin137419
Switzerland134211
Warren120516
Union106815
Ohio84112
Unassigned0538

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1499485

Reported Deaths: 23327
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1626291662
Cuyahoga1447662412
Hamilton1044761409
Montgomery731681240
Summit610421094
Lucas55643904
Butler51076707
Stark459431053
Lorain35141568
Warren32476369
Mahoning30315672
Clermont27930321
Lake26669434
Delaware23960162
Licking23547283
Trumbull22550552
Fairfield22179241
Greene22098311
Medina21763305
Clark19630349
Richland18342280
Portage17696247
Wood17244220
Allen15730269
Miami15355296
Muskingum14551174
Columbiana13756263
Wayne13585263
Tuscarawas12479298
Marion11797175
Scioto11388154
Pickaway11286141
Erie10676180
Ross10462196
Lawrence9663137
Hancock9546149
Ashtabula9479197
Belmont9133197
Geauga8829157
Jefferson8481191
Huron8229139
Union810756
Washington8031137
Sandusky7724145
Athens769572
Knox7606138
Darke7553151
Seneca7208144
Ashland6817125
Auglaize667896
Shelby6410111
Brown628582
Crawford6184130
Defiance6087102
Mercer608293
Fulton592996
Highland590099
Madison587576
Clinton576190
Logan574692
Guernsey572467
Preble5660121
Putnam5250108
Williams520184
Perry512561
Champaign505071
Jackson498770
Ottawa479086
Coshocton471582
Morrow451256
Pike430762
Fayette422160
Adams411587
Gallia411265
Hardin411076
Van Wert364078
Henry357871
Holmes3567122
Hocking352578
Wyandot317961
Carroll297059
Paulding275945
Meigs259249
Monroe212953
Noble196546
Morgan190832
Harrison178242
Vinton162624
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 44°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Huntington
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 44°
Decatur
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 44°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
The wonderful weather continues across the region Tuesday with our next chance of rain midweek.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events