A near 13-hour surgery to separate a pair of conjoined twins proved successful, because of the work of a 78-member team at Nigeria’s National Hospital.
Sisters Mercy and Goodness Ede were joined at the chest and abdomen before undergoing the complicated and frequently risky procedure at the hospital within the nation’s capital of Abuja six weeks ago, CNN reported. The bouncing babes are now recovering reception.
“We are just happy and proud that the team that worked on this surgery were all Nigerians,” hospital spokeswoman Dr. Tayo Haastrup told the outlet. “It was wiped out Nigeria, and therefore the parents didn’t need to go outside the country.”
Haastrup said news of the surgery is merely being released now so that doctors could ensure there have been no post-surgery complications.
The twins were born last August with a condition called omphalocele, a congenital anomaly that left some of their intestine outside their navel. Complications following the twins’ birth and leading up to the separation forced doctors to delay the surgery until November.
“We needed to work out if they might live independently once they are separated,” said Emmanuel Ameh, the pediatric surgeon who led the team that successfully separated the sisters. “We acknowledged [that] they were sharing a diaphragm, and one liver was serving both of them, but all other organs were separate.”
Dr. Ameh told the BBC’s Newsday that the women have healed alright and are ready to walk without support.
“They are now ready to stand on their own without support and that we hope that they’re going to start walking. And their wounds, which were very extensive on their tummy and chest, have healed alright .” Adding, “They are eating well and growing well and that we think it’s safe for them to travel home today.”
Mercy and Goodness are the primary to be successfully separated at the government-run center, consistent with Haastrup. To their parents’ delight, the operation, which may cost many thousands of dollars, was performed freed from charge.
A 2017 paper within the Journal of applied anatomy found that conjoined twins are extremely rare, with an incidence rate of 1 in 50,000 live births. The bulk of conjoined twins are also female.