Conjoined twins flown from Bhutan to Australia for separation operation

A pair of conjoined twins have been flown from Bhutan to Australia, where doctors hope they will be able to ...

Posted: Oct 2, 2018 12:39 PM
Updated: Oct 2, 2018 12:39 PM

A pair of conjoined twins have been flown from Bhutan to Australia, where doctors hope they will be able to operate on the 14-month-old girls, who have grown up facing each other, unable to move independently.

Joe Crameri, a doctor at Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital, said staff were examining the twins, Dawa and Nima Pelden, who are joined at the stomach, with the hopes they will be able to carry out of a life-changing operation to separate them.

Asia

Australia

Bhutan

Continents and regions

Demographic groups

Families and children

Family members and relatives

Oceania

Population and demographics

Society

South Asia

Twins and multiple births

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Children

Children's health

Children's hospitals

Health and health care (by demographic group)

Health and medical

Health care

Health care facilities

Hospitals

Maternal and child health

Medical fields and specialties

Pediatrics

Medical treatments and procedures

Surgery

"Once we've got that information, then we'll be able to formulate a more correct plan for how we can separate these twins but at the moment we remain confident that we should achieve that in a single operation and we should be able to achieve a good outcome for both twins," Crameri said.

A team of six surgeons and dozens of specialist nurses have been assembled for what is likely to be a lengthy operation on the twins, according to CNN affiliate 9 News.

"All these twins are unique in the way that they're connected. This set of twins are connected predominantly in the abdomen, maybe slightly in the lower part of the chest," Crameri said.

"We know the key areas that we're going to have to focus on are the bowel and the liver. We're hoping that we don't have to deal with any of the structures in their chests and the initial report suggests that we won't have to."

'They're getting cranky'

Funds for the girls' operation was raised by Children First Foundation, a Melbourne-based non profit, and is estimated to cost around $180,000 (250,000 AUD), according to 9 News.

"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 Tuesday.

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

Born via a 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 which will work to separate the Bhutanese girls previously worked on the successful 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 which 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.

Confirmed Cases: 33558

Reported Deaths: 2110
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9616571
Lake3538185
Cass15897
Allen145168
St. Joseph124834
Elkhart116328
Hendricks116171
Hamilton115693
Johnson1093108
Madison58559
Porter51627
Bartholomew50034
Clark49241
LaPorte42423
Howard39526
Tippecanoe3903
Jackson3791
Delaware37736
Shelby36822
Hancock32728
Floyd31839
Boone30935
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2652
Montgomery23517
White2318
Decatur22431
Clinton2231
Noble21121
Grant20621
Harrison19221
Dubois1923
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Dearborn16621
Vigo1648
Lawrence15423
Miami1411
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Orange12522
Scott1193
Kosciusko1111
Franklin1098
Ripley1086
Carroll922
Marshall901
Daviess8516
Steuben812
Newton7710
Wayne776
Fayette767
Wabash762
LaGrange712
Jasper651
Washington521
Jay500
Fulton481
Clay471
Rush462
Randolph463
Pulaski460
Jefferson431
Whitley393
Starke363
Sullivan341
Owen341
Brown331
DeKalb331
Perry310
Benton300
Knox290
Wells280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Crawford240
Blackford242
Fountain202
Switzerland200
Spencer191
Parke170
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0164
West Lafayette
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 76°
Kokomo
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 72°
Fowler
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 72°
Williamsport
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 74°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 69°
Frankfort
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 72°
Delphi
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 71°
Monticello
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 71°
Logansport
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 72°
Cooler, less humid weather ahead by the weekend.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events