Conjoined twins separated successfully
AN EASTERN Cape mother is joyful that she will finally be able to take her baby twins home after they successfully underwent surgery in February to separate them.
Ntombikayise Tyhalisa, aged 31, said she had not expected she would be able to leave the hospital holding a child in each arm.
Babies Siphosethu and Amahle were born in the Eastern Cape but were transferred to the Western Cape’s Red Cross Children’s Hospital at just four days old, the province’s Health Department said in a statement yesterday.
The children were joined at the head in what is medically referred to as craniopagus twinning, one of the rarest forms of joined twinning, head of paediatric neurosurgery at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital Professor Tony Figaji said.
Craniopagus twins occur about once in every 2.5 million live births world wide.
“We were fortunate in this case that the connection did not involve any shared brain tissue and didn’t involve major (blood) vessels going from one twin to the other,” Figaji said.
The hospital’s head of plastic surgery Professor Saliegh Adams said the teams involved were fully prepared for a marathon surgery of about six hours, but in this case the operation only lasted an hour-and-a-half, an added benefit to the twins’ recovery.
Acting chief executive officer for the hospital Dr Anita Parbhoo applauded the multidisciplinary teams involved in assisting the babies.
“A huge thank you to everyone … from the birthing team in the Eastern Cape and the referring clinicians, to our staff in the wards and theatre and then to those involved with the post-surgery care,” Parbhoo said.