Doctors prepare to separate twins with fused heads

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PV Desk : Doctors in Bangladesh gear up to separate fused heads of 19-month-old twins in an arduous surgery.

Doctors at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital or DMCH are hoping for a successful surgery in Bangladesh’s first attempt on twins joined at the head.

Last year, the DMCH successfully separated 10-month-old sisters conjoined along their spinal columns.

Conjoined sisters Rabeya and Rokeya were born in July last year to Rafiqul Islam and Taslima Khatun, both teachers at a government school in the northern district of Pabna.

The sisters have remained at the DMCH’s Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit since Feb 21, following which a 21-member medical board was formed.

On Tuesday, they went through a three-hour angiogram, allowing the doctors to get a clear understanding of the blood vessels.

“This is the initial step,” said Samanta Lal Sen, chief coordinator of the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit.

He told that if everything appears to be all right, then they would block blood vessels of one of the twins on Wednesday, to observe whether the body mechanism can create new vessels.

After the twins were born on Jul 16, 2016, they were under treatment by Professor Ruhul Amin at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, said father Rafiqul adding it was tough for him to afford the cost.

“The local MP advised us to approach Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She then instructed the Dhaka Medical College Hospital,” he told .

In November last year, the twins were brought to the DMCH, and Abul Kalam, head of Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit, took charge of their treatment.

They were released then and readmitted last week, said Dr Sen adding PM Hasina is bearing all the expenses.

He said when the sisters were first brought to the DMCH, a 19-member team was formed and was later expanded with two Hungarian neurosurgeons.

“As far as I know, there have been 17 successful surgeries on twins with fused heads in the world. Only five twins have survived.”