Twins joined at the spine separated in France

19th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

MARSEILLE, France, Dec 21 (AFP) - A pair of 15-month-old twins born sharing part of the same spine have been successfully separated in a delicate operation in the southern French city of Marseille, doctors who participated in or witnessed the surgery said Wednesday.

MARSEILLE, France, Dec 21 (AFP) - A pair of 15-month-old twins born sharing part of the same spine have been successfully separated in a delicate operation in the southern French city of Marseille, doctors who participated in or witnessed the surgery said Wednesday.

The medical team "encountered no complication" during the five-hour operation which was conducted December 15 in the city's Nord Hospital, Dr Christian Palix, the chief of the hospital's neonatology department, told a media conference.

"There was incredible emtion when the surgical team saw the children move their little feet," said the anaesthetist, Annie Lando. "Everybody was waiting for that moment."

The prematurely born twin brothers, Mohamed and Souleyman, had been joined at the lumbar region, and the team had to wait for the skin to be sufficiently resistant to tolerate the surgery, said the hospital's plastic surgeon, Professor Dominique Casanova.

It was the first time such an operation involving twins joined at the spine had been attempted in France, and one of only a handful of times such a feat has been carried out in the world.

The operation is especially difficult because of the risk of paralysing one or both of the patients.

The Marseille hospital doctors predicted that the twins would eventually both be able to walk.

"They are reacting in an extraordinary way and always want to be touching each other," Palix said.

"Before, they could only see each other through mirrors placed around them. Now, they are behaving like twins. When a doctor examines one, the other throws him his toy."

He called the successful operation "a human adventure."

The brothers were expected to leave hospital within weeks to go to their family's home in nearby Avignon. They will be subject to regular medical check-ups in the year to come, however.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

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