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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 March, 2005, 16:56 GMT
Zimbabwe conjoined twins divided
Twin brothers Tinashe and Tinotenda (Copyright: The Hospital for Sick Children)
A surgical team of 25 separated the twin boys
Canadian doctors have successfully separated conjoined twin boys from Zimbabwe in a five-hour operation.

Seven-month olds Tinashe and Tinotenda, who were joined at the abdomen and shared a liver, are recovering in a critical-care unit on life support.

"I would like to thank everyone who took part in the separation of the twins. God bless them all," the babies' mother Elizabeth Mufuka told reporters.

A charity is funding their treatment and doctors waived their surgery fees.

"They are doing great so far," said Dr Jacob Langer, who performed the operation along with 24 colleagues at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

He said there were no "unexpected complications" during surgery.

You couldn't feed one without the other, or the other would go ballistic
Dr Jacob Langer
"While we are optimistic about their prognosis, the boys must be monitored for any risk of infection or bleeding," he said.

The surgery began at 0933 on Monday morning and finished at 1440.

The most difficult part of the operation, he said, was cutting a joint blood vessel in the liver, which had left one of the twins much smaller than the other. Both livers now have their own blood supply.

He said the twins, who were delivered in July by Canadian physicians working in Zimbabwe, have "wonderful personalities".

"You couldn't feed one without the other, or the other would go ballistic," Dr Langer told reporters.

The children have cleft lips and palates that will be corrected after they have recovered from Monday's surgery.

Ms Mufuka, who is a single mother, brought the twins to Canada in December with the help of The Herbie Fund, which enables children from developing countries to travel to Canada for medical care.

Conjoined twins
06 Jul 03 |  Medical notes
Our lives as conjoined twins
02 May 04 |  Health

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