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Brazilian Conjoined Twins Who Shared Fused Brains Have Successfully Separated

Bernardo and Arthur Lima are four years old.

Brazilian twins who were head-to-head have been successfully separated by a UK-based surgeon, according to a report in Independent said. Bernardo and Arthur Lima, both aged almost 4, have undergone at least seven surgeries in Rio de Janeiro, with Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani guiding them from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. The last two surgeries took 33 hours of operating time to separate the boys with fused brains – called craniopagus twins – and involved more than 100 medical staff, the outlet added. The surgeons spent months practicing various techniques in virtual reality before the delicate procedure began for real.

Independent said Dr. Gabriel Mufarrej, chief of surgery at the Instituto Estadual do Cerebro Paulo Niemeyer, was also supervising the surgery with Dr. Jeelani. The UK-based pediatric surgeon described the operation as a “remarkable achievement”, the outlet added in the report.

Given that the twins are almost four years old, they are also the oldest craniopagus twins with fused brains to have been separated, said Independent.

UK based Subway quoted Dr Mufarrej as saying that the boys’ parents came to the Brazilian hospital two and a half years ago. “They were part of our family in the hospital,” he added.

Gemini Untwined, a charity founded by Mr Jeelani, helped the boys’ parents raise money for the operation. The charity said Bernardo and Arthur’s separation was one of the most complex separation processes ever completed, adding that many surgeons didn’t even think it was possible.

Both boys are recovering well in hospital and will be supported by six months of rehabilitation, Subway further said in his report citing the charity.

According to Gemini figures, one in 60,000 births results in conjoined twins, and only 5% of them are craniopagus children.


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