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Virtual Reality Helps Separate Conjoined Twins in Brazil

Surgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani called the surgery "space-age stuff"

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Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

BRAZIL. Rio De Janerio: Under the supervision of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, surgeries were performed on three-year-old conjoined twins Bernardo and Arthur Lima in Rio de Janeiro.

The teams tested several methods for months utilizing virtual reality twin projections based on CT and MRI images.

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Surgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani called the surgery “space-age stuff.”

Non-profit organization Gemini Untwined which Owase Jeelani founded in 2018, funded the surgeries. “It was one of the most difficult separation operations ever finished,” Gemini Untwined said.

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“For the first time, surgeons from different nations operated together in a virtual reality room while wearing headsets,” it added.

An extraordinary achievement in science

Conjoined twins have a total survival rate of 7.5%. Only 60% of the surgically separated cases survive. The successful operation done in Brazil is nothing short of a miracle.

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The twins endured seven procedures, the latest of which needed more than 27 hours of surgery and more than 100 medical workers.

Talking about the VR component of the procedure, Jeelani said, “It’s just great. It’s fantastic to perform the surgery and observe the anatomy before putting the kids in danger. The boys’ blood pressure and heart rates were “over the roof,” as it is with all conjoined twins following separation until they were reunited and touched hands four days later.”

The twins will get six months of rehabilitation care as they continue their successful hospital recovery.

Another successful operation 

After performing separation procedures on twins from Pakistan, Sudan, Israel, and Turkey, this was Jeelani’s sixth procedure with Gemini Untwined.

Along with Dr Gabriel Mufarrej, director of paediatric surgery at Brazil’s Instituto Estadual do Cerebro Paulo Niemeyer, and he oversaw the procedure.

The boys have been receiving care at the hospital where Dr Mufarrej works for the past 2.5 years, and their separation will be “life-changing,” he added.

“The parents of the boys have been a part of our hospital family for the past two and a half years when they travelled to Rio from their home in the Roraima region to ask for our assistance. We are thrilled with how wonderfully the procedure went.”

At about four years old, Bernardo and Arthur are the eldest separated craniopagus twins (twins with a fused brain).

According to the charity, only 5% of conjoined twin pregnancies, or one in every 60,000, result in craniopagus twins.

Also Read: 34 Brown Dwarfs in Binary Systems Found via Citizen Science Project in US

Author

  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

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