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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
Conjoined twins separated in Dhaka
By Alastair Lawson
BBC correspondent in Dhaka

Doctors in Bangladesh have been talking about what they say is the first successful operation there to separate conjoined twins.

Baby Hassan
Hassan and his brother Hossein will be monitored for several months
Surgeons say the operation to disconnect two-month-old Hossein from his twin, Hassan was a complicated one.

They were joined together at the liver and the sternum.

Both boys are still in intensive care, but neither is in a critical condition.

The survival of Hossein and Hassan is a good news story in a country where natural disasters, poverty and corruption often dominate the headlines.

It reflects the enormous developments that have been made in medical care in Bangladesh.

Doubts

The twins come from the south-western town of Khulna, where their father is a rickshaw puller, earning less than $2.

Dr Amin
The procedure was very complex, Dr Amin says
Ruhul Amin, the surgeon who carried out the operation, says they never believed the twins could be successfully parted.

"Initially, they thought both children would die before operation," he said.

"We needed time to convince them of the operation. The operation is really very complicated. We have to separate the liver and we have to separate the lower part of the sternum."

Dr Amin works for Dhaka's Islami Bank hospital, which paid for the operation to be carried out.

He says the conjoined twins will be kept under close medical surveillance over the next few months because successful partings are still very rare.

Dr Amin says such an operation usually has only about a 6% chance of success.

He said that of around 400 conjoined twins around the world who have been separated, only about 50 have survived.


SEE ALSO:
Separated twins 'open their eyes'
09 Aug 02  |  Americas
Siamese twins die in Bangladesh
30 Jan 02  |  South Asia


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