Separated Iraqi twins celebrate 1st birthday [Archives:2003/658/Health]

August 11 2003

“Over the months, both babies have thrived well and are continuing to grow as normal babies”- Dr. Essa Kazim
Dubai-UAE: Iraqi Siamese twins, who were successfully separated in a 13-hour-long surgical operation by a team of doctors from the UAE and Britain at Dubai Hospital last year, celebrated their 1st Birthday on August 7th, 2003.
An international appeal made by the father of Iraqi Siamese twins, in September 2002, was promptly answered by General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defense, who agreed to have the twins separated at his expense.
Both infants were born joined at the pelvis, end to end. Each had two legs that moved normally. Investigations were started immediately. They showed that there was no bone connection between the two boys but there were abnormalities with the urinary bladder and the bowels.
Extensive evaluation revealed that it was possible to surgically separate them. A team consisting of local doctors at the Department of Health and Medical Services and the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, was assembled, headed by Dr. Essa Kazim, Head of the Department of Urology and Medical Director, Dubai Hospital. The operation was performed on 24th November 2002. Postoperatively, the twins progressed far better than expected and were taken off intensive care soon after surgery.
Dr. Essa Kazim who has supervised their progress over the past year said, “Over the months, both babies have thrived well and are continuing to grow as normal babies. They are both crawling and one has been standing and the other is just beginning to support himself on his legs”.
“Since they each have a vertebra which is half of the normal size, there is a tendency for the back to be bent to one side. They recently underwent scans of the spine, which were sent electronically to London. The opinion is that surgery is not required as in one of them the spine has straightened on its own and in the other, there is no significant progression of the bend”.
The Dubai Hospital staff and doctors joined in the celebrations with the parents of the twins to wish them on their 1st birthday.