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Last Updated: Friday, 30 May, 2003, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
Adult Siamese twins 'to separate'
The Bijani sisters and Dr Goh
The twins say they long to spend time apart
Two adult Iranian twins joined at the skull finally appear set to undergo the operation to separate them which they have been pursuing for years.

The risks of the operation are such that in 1996 German doctors refused to operate, saying one or both could die.

But on Friday an official from Raffles Hospital in Singapore indicated on condition of anonymity that the operation could go ahead as early as next week.

Laleh and Ladan Bijani, 28, say they are completely different individuals who are stuck to each other.

We believe it's all in God's hands. After God, we are relying on the team of doctors
Ladan Bijani

"We have different lifestyles," Ladan has said. "We think very differently about issues."

The twins said that if their situation continued much longer, they could not "stand it any more".

After German doctors refused to operate, the twins' hopes were rekindled last year when they heard about Dr Keith Goh, a Singapore surgeon who had successfully separated Nepalese infant twins similarly fused at the skull.

They travelled to Singapore and underwent assessment by a team of surgeons headed by Dr Goh.

'Determined'

At the end of the year, the team announced that surgery was feasible, but that the final decision to operate would be left up to the twins.

"They seem determined to go through with this," Dr Goh said at the time. But until now, there has been no news from the hospital.

If the operation is successful, Laleh wants to work in Tehran as a journalist while Ladan wants to take a graduate degree in law and move back home with their parents in Shiraz.

On Friday the official said a news conference would be held on Monday.


SEE ALSO:
Adult Siamese twins plead for separation
03 Dec 02  |  Middle East
Separated Siamese twins back home
14 Jan 03  |  Americas
Siamese twin inquest verdict
15 Dec 00  |  Health
Separated twins stable
11 Apr 01  |  Asia-Pacific


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