2006 News Story

Doctors optimistic about Iraqi conjoined twins’ chances

Iraqi conjoined twins arrived at the National Guard’s King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh on Sunday, where they will be separated at the direction of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

Dr Abdullah Al-Rabea, the head of the surgical team, said he is optimistic about the twins’ surgery and that they have a 60 percent chance of success, the Saudi Gazette reported.

The one-week old twins will begin a series of tests next week, and a final decision will be made on their surgery. The operation would likely take place when the twins have reached the optimal weight of about 8.5 to 9 kg, at about three months of age. Dr Al-Rabea said that the babies are joined at the chest, abdomen and pelvis.

In related news, a set of Moroccan conjoined twins who arrived at the King Abdulaziz Medical City on January 2 will have a date for their separation fixed within the next 10 days. Their prospects are also good, Dr. Rabea said.

Since 1990, Dr Al-Rabea and his 25-member medical team have performed 10 successful operations to separate conjoined twins from countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia (three sets of twins), Sudan (two sets), Egypt (two sets), Malaysia (one set), the Philippines (one set) and Poland (one set). They all survived and are leading normal lives in their respective countries.