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How a Kashmiri doctor separated brain-fused Brazilian twins

Three-year-old Bernardo and Arthur Lima were born with fused brains in Brazil. The operation was carried out by a team of 100 medical experts, engineers and support staff in different countries wearing virtual reality headsets, led by Kashmiri-born Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani from London.

The three-year-old twins were separated after a 33-hour surgery. untied gemini

Famous Kashmiri-born surgeon Dr. Noor ul Owase Jeelani is again in the news for another miracle surgery of Brazilian conjoined twins whose brains were fused together.

Dr Jeelani, known for his complicated procedures separating craniopagus twins, led a team of 100 surgeons, engineers and other staff during the 33-hour operation.

The operation, which Jeelani described as “a space-age thing”, was carried out in Rio de Janeiro, under the direction of London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, on BBC reported.


The three-year-old boys, Bernardo and Arthur Lima, were born with fused brains in Brazil and were under the constant care of Dr. Gabriel Mufarrej, who has directed pediatric surgery at the Instituto Estadual do Cerebro Paulo Niemeyer for more than 30 months. the Independent reported.

Given that the twins are almost four years old, they are also the oldest craniopagus twins with a fused brain to have been separated, according to the report.

According to Gemini Untwined, a charity founded by Jeelani in 2018 for similar cases, it was one of the most complex separation processes ever completed.

For the first time, surgeons from different countries wore headsets and operated together in the same “virtual reality room” while Jeelani provided advice from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

According to BBCthe twins underwent seven surgeries, involving more than 27 hours of operating time in the final operation alone.

Virtual reality (VR) surgery

Practicing for months wearing VR headsets and finally completing the task the same way was perhaps one of the most important aspects of this surgery.

Teams spent months testing techniques using virtual reality projections of the twins, based on CT scans and MRIs, the BBC reported.

“It’s just wonderful. It’s really great to see the anatomy and do the operation before putting the children at risk. You can imagine how reassuring it is for surgeons.

“In some ways, these operations are considered the most difficult of our time, and doing them in virtual reality was really a man thing on Mars,” Jeelani said.

Both twins are recovering well in hospital and will be supported by six months of rehabilitation, the charity said.

Jeelani’s previous successful surgeries involving conjoined twins

Dr Jeelani conducted five successful surgeries before separating the Brazilian twins. He has previously operated on twins from Pakistan, Sudan, Israel and Turkey.

Unlike previous cases, the Rio twins had fused brains in the fused skulls, making it the most difficult surgery Dr. Jeelani and his team have ever faced.

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

In 2019, Dr Jeelani conducted an operation to separate two-year-old craniopagus sisters Safa and Marwa Ullah from Charsadda in Pakistan. The team of doctors carried out three major operations to separate their heads at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

With contributions from agencies

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