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10-hour surgery to separate Saudi Siamese twins
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 22 - 12 - 2012

RIYADH – A marathon 10-hour surgery to separate Saudi conjoined twins – Abdullah and Salman – was nearing completion (at the time of going to the press) at National Guard's King Abdul Aziz Medical City (KAMC) here late Friday.
The eight-phase separation surgery started at 1:15 P.M. Friday. At 5:00 P.M. the team had completed the separation of the pericardial sacs around the heart and repaired it. At 6.10 P.M. the fifth phase to separate the liver and the bowel had been completed successfully. At 6:20 P.M. the twins were moved to separated beds for the first time. At 6.40 P.M. Phase 6 was completed successfully for Abdullah. At 7.10 P.M. reconstruction started with the teams being divided into two units A-B. Wounds for Abdullah and Salman were closed.
The twins were born on Aug. 7 conjoined at the chest, abdominal area and the heart and liver membranes.
The twins suffered from birth defects in their urinary system. The twin boys were born through a Cesarean section to a Saudi mother hailing from the southern town of Bisha.
The mother was flown to King Abdul Aziz Medical City on the directives of King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The twins were monitored at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The medical team conducting the separation surgery was being led by Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeah, who is an internationally recognized expert on separating Siamese twins.
Dr. Rabeah has performed separation surgeries on 63 sets of twins from 17 countries, 30 of whom were separated successfully.
All these surgeries have been performed under the instructions of King Abdullah, who bears all expenses.
Each case of Siamese twins successfully separated at KAMC has a humanitarian history. – SG


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