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  Doctors delayed as they separate joined twins
Updated 07 July 2003, 18.52
Lots of doctors are involved in the operation
Doctors in Singapore who are trying to separate joined twin sisters have said they've hit complications.

The difficult operation was expected to take at least two days - but now it could take even longer.

Iranian twins Ladan and Laleh Bijani, 29, have separate brains but they share one skull.

Extra careful

The twins are able lead separate lives
The twins are able lead separate lives
Doctors have found that their brains have become even more tightly joined together over the years than they first thought.

And the blood supply between the twins is unstable, which means the doctors have to be extra careful.

A huge team of 28 doctors and around 100 assistants are doing the operation in shifts.

Critical

Ladan and Laleh started their operation on Sunday, when doctors took a vein from Ladan's right leg to use later in the head of one of the twins.

The twins in hospital before the operation
The twins in hospital before the operation
"The next 12-24 hours will be a very critical period," spokesman for Singapore's Raffles Hospital Dr Prem Kumar said.

Before the operation the twins were both told that there was a 50-50 chance of success, but wanted to go ahead with it anyway because they wanted to live their own lives.

They are well-known in their own country because of their courage and academic success - both have a degree in law.

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