Connected twins efficiently separated after 6 hours of surgery, good chance of complete recovery

Doctors in Australia have successfully separated the 15-month-old sisters Nima and Dawa after nearly six hours of surgery on late Thursday. Four surgeons and a team of about 18 doctors at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne performed the surgery on the Bhutanese girls.

The twins were connected from the lower chest to just above the pelvis and shared a liver. The surgery was originally scheduled for October but was postponed after it became known that the sisters were not ready for surgery and needed additional nutritional support.

Leading pediatric surgeon Joe Crameri said the operation was shorter than expected after surgery and the twins were "very good".

Crameri had previously said that the challenges of the operation would depend on where the girls were connected.

"There were no things in the bellies of the girls we were not really prepared for," he later said.

"We saw two young girls who were very ready for their surgery, who were able to cope with the operation very well and are currently recovering," said Crameri. "We did not find any surprises, we knew the liver would be connected … it was successfully shared without major bleeding."

Respiratory tubes have been reported to have been removed from both girls since the operation, and both are in intensive care.

Crameri thanked the surgical team and said that the mother of the twins, Bhumchu Zangmo, was "smiling, very happy and thankful".

The Bhutanese family was brought to Australia by Children First Foundation, an Australian-based charity. The state of Victoria has offered to cover the cost of the $ 255,000 operation.

Elizabeth's charity charity Elizabeth Zangmo said she was "a bit scared" but showed "exceptional calm" before the surgery.

"Bhumchu saw her girls and gave everyone a kiss … everyone separated for the first time," he said in a statement.

Affiliated twins are born once every 200,000 births, although many do not survive long, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. An estimated 40 to 60 percent are born dead, another 35 percent survive only a single day. The overall survival rate is between five and 25 percent.

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