A conjoined set of twins that had one liver, a protruding tummy and a lower chest were successfully separated, in a 12-hour surgery involving 78 medical personnel, at the National medical center, Abuja
The leader of the team that performed the surgery, Prof Emmanuel Ameh, said the twins had to be monitored for 15 months before the separation was done.
“One of the major challenges was that the twins came with their intestines bulging out of the lower part of the tummy, which we quickly resolved.
The conjoined twins after the surgery
“We also needed to determine if they could survive separately after separation. We found out that they had two separate hearts that were normal, but with a common cover. They also shared the lower half of the chest and there was only one liver serving the two of them. Other organs were separate and normal.”
Ameh added that before the surgery, the twins needed to grow well in order to withstand the complex surgery. He noted that nutrition and infection control were critical in the preparation.
He added, “We celebrated their first birthday in the ward still conjoined. The surgery was performed on November 14, 2019. By that time they were 15 months-old. A total of 78 medical staff was involved in the 12 and a half hour surgery. We even planned to spend 48 hours, if there was a need for it. After that, the twins spent a week at the Intensive Care Unit before they were taken to the ward.”
If the parents had the means, they would have gone abroad like some other Nigerians and spent at least an equivalent of N20m in foreign currency. It is cheaper doing the surgery here. We cannot quantify the amount spent on the surgery.”
It was not the first time that conjoined twins were separated in a similar operation in a Nigerian hospital. On May 14, 2018, a team of surgeons successfully separated four-month-old conjoined twins at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola.
Also, the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital on June 11 2018, announced that it has separated a conjoined twins.