Docs separate twins joined at head

A team at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, led by David Dunaway, carried out the operation to separate baby girls, Rital and Ritaj Gaboura, who are now 11 months old, the Daily Mail reported. In fact, the twins were separated after the last of four complex procedures, say the doctors.

The infants were born with the tops of their heads fused — an extremely rare condition in which only one in 10 million survive. Their skulls were joined into one and though they did not share brain tissue, they shared vital arteries and nerves.

Because there was significant blood flow between the brains, their condition was particularly complicated to treat. Ritaj supplied half of her sister’s brain with blood, while draining most of it back to her own heart and her body was, therefore, doing most of the work for both of them. Any significant drop in blood pressure caused by surgery would have caused severe neurological damage. After four months in hospital and surgery, the surgeons now believe the babies have made a good recovery after the final operation last month.

The children were born by caesarean section in October 2010 in Khartoum, Sudan. Both their parents are doctors. Their father, Abdelmajeed Gaboura, 31, is a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, and their mother, Enas, 27, is in training. Because there was no expertise to successfully separate the girls in Sudan, and the couple could not afford to pay for their treatment abroad, they approached British children’s charity Facing the World.

The charity agreed to fund their care after doctors at Great Ormond Street volunteered to treat the children.

The parents said: “We are very thankful to be able to look forward to going home with two separate, healthy girls. We are grateful to all the doctors and to Facing the World for organising all the logistics and for paying for the surgery.”

Conjoined twins are very rare while those joined at the head — known as craniopagus twins — are even rarer.

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