Relief after successful surgery to split twins
When surgeons finally got the answer to the question they have long asked — and feared — a sense of relief swept over Royal Children’s Hospital’s Theatre 6.
Since first setting eyes on a set of rudimentary scans from Bhutan, Royal Children’s specialists have wondered exactly what was going on inside Nima and Dawa Pelden’s conjoined bodies.
After a year-long effort to save the 15-month-old sisters, the massive team got the perfect answer.
“Our greatest challenge, we always knew, was what are we going to find when we first went into the abdomen,” head of paediatric surgery Joe Crameri said.
“Once we realised that we had the ability to divide the liver without compromising the girls, and ultimately that we did not have to do anything fancy with the bowel, that was certainly a sense of relief for us.
“All the hard work and efforts over the past weeks really paid dividends today.
“We saw two young girls who were very ready for this surgery, who were able to cope with the surgery, and are recovering and doing very well.
“I see it as a sense of relief, we always felt confident we could achieve this.”
From the moment yesterday’s operation began, Nima and Dawa began acting like independent girls, with one succumbing to anaesthetic quickly, the other taking more than two hours. When surgery did begin the team — which swelled to 25 during parts of the six-hour operation — were overjoyed to find there was no significant bowel attachment requiring extensive surgery, but rather just overlapping or tangled organs.
As Tom Clarnette led efforts to separate the twins’ shared liver he found some issues were a little more significant than expected. But there was more relief when both had the necessary “plumbing” and there was no bleeding issues.
“We were never certain of exactly what we were going to find, but we were pleasantly surprised we didn’t get any unexpected curve balls,” Dr Clarnette said.
Then, just before 12.45pm, the girls were officially separated and stable. Pictures: News Corp, AP
Bhmuchu Zangmo says a teary goodbye before her twins are taken into surgery.
During the operation.