Brazilian twins who were joined at the head have been successfully separated with the help of a British neurosurgeon. Bernardo and Arthur Lima were born with (f. u. sed) brains. The pair underwent seven (o. p. erations) in Rio de Janeiro, overseen by Great Ormond Street Hospital paediatric (s. ur. geon) Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani.
Almost 100 medics operated on the three-year-olds, who spent 27 hours under the knife during the final (sur. gery). It was one of the most complex separation processes ever completed, according to Dr Jeelani’s charity Gemini Untwined, which funded it.
Ahead of the life-changing op, (s. ur. geons) from London and Rio spent months trialling techniques using VR projections of the twins based on CT and MRI scans — which Dr Jeelani described as ‘space-age stuff’.
Bernardo and Arthur Lima, who were born with (f. u. sed) brains, underwent several (o. p. erations) in Rio de Janeiro, with the direction of Great Ormond Street Hospital paediatric (s. ur. geon) Noor ul Owase Jeelani. Pictured: the twins before the procedure with surgeon Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani (right) and their parents Adriely and Antonia Lima (left)
In cases where the pump. ing chambers of their hearts are conjoined, there are no known survivors. Although success rates have improved over the years, (surg. ic. al) separation is still rare. Since 1950, at least one twin has survived separation about 75 percent of the time.
It is only after twins are born that doctors can use MRI scans, ultrasound and angiography to find out what (o. rg. ans) the twins share. In order to determine the feasibility of separation, doctors must carefully assess how the twins’ shared (o. rg. ans) function.
After separation, most twins need intensive rehabilitation because of the malformation and position of their spines. The muscles in their backs are constantly being flexed and they often have a difficult time bending their backs forward and backwards and sitting up straight. Speaking about the VR aspect of the (s. u. rgery), Dr Jeelani said: ‘It’s just wonderful.