SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

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.

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 29°
Kokomo
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 25°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 28°
Lafayette
Mostly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 29°
Danville
Mostly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 23°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Frankfort
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 23°
Monticello
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 25°
Monticello
Mostly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 25°
Logansport
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 27°
Heaviest precipitation Monday-Monday night....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

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