BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Middle East  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 3 December, 2002, 15:40 GMT
Adult Siamese twins plead for separation
The Bijani sisters and Dr Goh
The Bijani sisters are putting their faith in Dr Goh
Doctors in Singapore are considering whether to separate a pair of 28-year-old twin sisters who are joined at the head - an unprecedented operation for adults.

The Iranian twins, Laleh and Ladan Bijani, have been undergoing intense physical and psychological tests since arriving in Singapore two weeks ago.


After God, we are relying on the team of doctors

Bijani sisters
Neurosurgeon Keith Goh says he and his team will decide by the end of the year if an operation can be successful.

The twins - who are both law graduates but have very different personalities - say they are optimistic they will one day lead separate lives.

They went to Singapore after hearing about the successful surgery led by Dr Goh on baby twins from Nepal who were also joined at the head.

The operation - if it goes ahead - involves separating two brains encased within a single bony structure in the head, Dr Goh said.

"The problem is that after 28 years of (the brains) lying in such close proximity and right next to each other, there will be connections that will have to be disconnected."

In 1996 German doctors refused to operate on the Bijani sisters after tests suggested that separating them could be fatal.

Sisters' anxiety

The twins say they want to be separated because of deep differences between them.

"We are two completely separate individuals who are stuck to each other," Ladan, the more extrovert of the sisters, told reporters.

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

The twins said that if their situation continues for much longer, they will not "stand it any more".

They say they feel no anxiety about the operation.

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

Siamese, or conjoined, twins occur in about one in every 100,000 births.

Their births can be extremely traumatic and approximately 40-60% are delivered stillborn with 35% surviving just one day.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Neurosurgeon Keith Goh
"We can only imagine what it would be like to be stuck to someone else"
See also:

06 Aug 02 | Americas
27 Oct 00 | Health
15 May 02 | Africa
30 Apr 02 | Health
25 Aug 00 | Q-S
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes