KSrelief: Successful surgical separation is just the beginning for Nigerian conjoined twins

by Ajay Rajguru

RIYADH, Saudi ArabiaMarch 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Nigerian conjoined twins, Hassana and Hussaina, aged 2, are recovering well following a surgical procedure to separate them in Riyadh, and are now looking forward to a full, happy life with their parents and family. The operation took place on 29 February at the King Abdullah Specialized Children Hospital at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Ministry of the National Guard, under the leadership of Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, a world-renowned surgeon in the field of conjoined twins.

Dr. Al Rabeeah, Head of the Saudi Conjoined Twins Separation Programme, directed a surgical team comprised of 40 doctors and nurses, with a total multidisciplinary support staff of 107. The separation was successfully completed in 16 hours and 30 minutes over nine surgical phases and is the culmination of months of comprehensive medical assessments and two surgeries. Yesterday’s procedure was one of the most complex in the programme’s 33-year history.

“Following a lengthy recovery process, the twins will be blessed with the promise of a normal life full of hope and opportunity,” said Dr. Al Rabeeah. “We are so happy to have had the opportunity to help Hassana and Hussaina. We will continue to monitor the twins and will do everything we can to ensure steady progress and recovery in the weeks ahead.”

He continued, “Given the post-operative condition of the twins, we are extremely confident that they will recover well. We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to carry out another separation, adding to the team’s leading global position in the field, and Saudi Arabia’s leadership in this specialisation.”

The successful separation is the 60th performed by Dr. Al Rabeeah and his team under the programme, which began in 1990. Over the past 33 years, Saudi Arabia has solidified its position as a global leader in the field, with the team performing some of the most challenging conjoined twin separations on record.

Hassana and Hussaina arrived in Saudi Arabia on 30 October 2023 for initial assessments and underwent a 10-hour neurological surgery on 30 December in preparation for their final separation yesterday. The girls were born at home in the Nigerian state of Kaduna as part of a triplet birth and were conjoined at the pelvis with four lower limbs.

“Successful separation does not guarantee a successful recovery. It is important to understand and appreciate that once the twins are separated, there is a long period of rehabilitation. For most patients, we conduct the procedure at a time of life that allows for the highest chance of long-term success, enabling the development of physical and mental abilities,” said Dr. Al Rabeeah.

Dr. Al Rabeeah added that these separations are performed based on the directives and generosity of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. The government of Saudi Arabia sponsors the entire cost for the Saudi Conjoined Twins Programme and covers all expenses for the twins and their accompanying family members.

Following the successful surgery, the girls’ parents expressed their sincere gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Al Rabeeah and to Saudi Arabia for giving their daughters the best possible chance to live healthy, happy lives.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2353128/KSrelief_operation.jpg

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