Conjoined twins separated by British and Israeli surgeons in 12-hour procedure
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Conjoined twins separated by British and Israeli surgeons in 12-hour procedure

Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani from Great Ormond Street Hospital led the 12-hour surgery with the support of a local team led by the Soroka Medical Centre's Dr. Mickey Gideon

Soroka Medical Center handout photo of one of the conjoined twins after they were separated by British surgeon Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani in a rare 12-hour surgery at the Soroka Medical Centre in Israel. Issue date: Monday September 6, 2021.
Soroka Medical Center handout photo of one of the conjoined twins after they were separated by British surgeon Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani in a rare 12-hour surgery at the Soroka Medical Centre in Israel. Issue date: Monday September 6, 2021.

One-year-old twin girls joined at the head have been successfully separated in Israel by a team led by a British neurosurgeon.

Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani, a consultant paediatric neurosurgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital, led the 12-hour surgery with the support of a local team at Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheba, Israel.

It is the first time the procedure has been carried out outside the UK by the team at medical charity Gemini Untwined since it was founded in 2018 by Dr Owase Jeelani.

The team have now completed five separation surgeries since 2006, two of them before Gemini was set up.

On the Israeli side, it was led by Dr. Mickey Gideon, director of paediatric neurosurgery at Soroka Medical Center.

Dr Owase Jeelani said: “I am delighted that the surgery has gone well and the girls, their family and the local team have had a good outcome.

“It is through this process of teamwork and knowledge-sharing globally that we can hope to improve the outcome for all children and families that find themselves in this difficult position.”

Kamal Rahman, one of the founders of Gemini Untwined, added: “It’s exciting that we have now helped three families from different countries with this lifechanging surgery.”

Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani, who led a 12-hour surgery to separate conjoined twins at the Soroka Medical Centre in Israel.

Mr Rahman said the prevalence of conjoined twins is higher in less developed communities where there is little foetal monitoring, which is where charities like Gemini Untwined can assist.

He said: “Gemini seeks to provide not only research and technical support to the local medical teams but also financial support to facilitate the complex surgery and post-operative rehabilitation where needed.

“We are presently supporting other families that find themselves in this challenging situation.”

It is estimated fifty such sets of craniopagus conjoined twins, joined at the head, are born around the world every year.

Of them, it is thought only 15 survive beyond the first 30 days of life.

With current technologies, which the charity aims to make more accessible, approximately half of these cases would be candidates for successful surgical separation.

Close up of one of the screens used by the medical team during a procedure to separate conjoined twins at the Soroka Medical Centre in Israel, which was led by British surgeon Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani.

 

 

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