In Riyadh, a group of Saudi surgeons successfully separated conjoined twins from Syria. The operation took place at the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital and lasted for seven hours.
Bassam and Ihsan, who are both 32 months old and weigh approximately 19 kilograms, are reported to be in stable condition after their complex surgery.
The twins had a connection in their lower chest, abdomen, liver, and intestines. Ihsan was the more dominant twin, while Bassam did not have urinary and reproductive systems, including the kidney, ureter, bladder, and male reproductive organs.
The separation surgery was done in five stages and a team of 26 medical professionals, including consultants, specialists, technicians, nurses, and support staff, were involved.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, who serves as an adviser at the Royal Court and is the general supervisor of the Saudi aid agency KSrelief, was in charge of the operation. This operation was carried out under the guidance of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The surgery became even more complicated because Ihsan had significant congenital heart defects and cerebral development atrophy, which decreased his chances of surviving. Al-Rabeeah mentioned that in order to save Bassam’s life, the medical team made the decision to proceed with the operation to separate the twins.
He explained that separating conjoined organs can be challenging due to their importance and sensitivity. Additionally, the presence of congenital defects in certain organs, such as the heart, urinary system, reproductive system, and sometimes even the brain, further complicates the operation.
So, the main challenge here is figuring out how the twins are joined together and to what extent. Congenital defects like this usually make the surgery quite complex, which is why it’s typically performed in specialized medical centers around the world.
The twins were moved to a children’s intensive care unit after the procedure. They will be closely monitored there.
The parents of the children expressed their gratitude to the king, crown prince, and medical team for their support.
Mahmud Salih, the father, expressed his gratitude, saying, “We reached out to the Saudi aid agency, and they responded to us. We are truly thankful to them.” We made sure to carry out all procedures in the best way possible, right from the beginning until we reached this point.
The case was very serious, and they needed to perform a separation surgery. Praise be to Allah. We were fortunate to have the support of generous benefactors who helped us. King Abdullah Hospital, along with Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and the amazing medical staff, provided us with much-needed relief.
The surgery was the 58th operation performed to separate conjoined twins. It was part of a Saudi program that has overseen 130 cases from 23 different countries since 1990.
In 2019, Majd Nafea, a nurse and member of a team of 26 professionals from various fields, began working on specialized operations.
She told me that the first operation she worked on was quite challenging because she had never seen a twin separation surgery before. But as time went on and with each subsequent operation, it has gradually become a little easier.”
According to Al-Rabeeah, Saudi Arabia has made significant investments in its people, ensuring that its citizens receive top-notch education from renowned universities worldwide.
Now, they are coming back to demonstrate that Saudi individuals are truly representative of the Kingdom. One remarkable example is the Saudi program dedicated to separating conjoined twins.
On May 22, the twins and their parents took a flight from the Turkish capital, Ankara, to Saudi Arabia.
We’ve been here for a month now, and the welcome we received couldn’t have been better. Salih expressed his gratitude by saying, “May Allah bless them and reward them abundantly, a thousand times over.”