5 months on; surviving conjoined twin doing well after separation


Conjoined twins are a rare occurrence, happening in just one out of every 200,000 live births. When twins are conjoined, it means that they are physically connected to each other, typically sharing organs or limbs.

The severity of the connection can vary, from a shared liver to being joined at the head. Separating conjoined twins can be a complex and risky procedure, often requiring a team of highly skilled medical professionals.

In Ghana, an unprecedented journey to separate a pair of conjoined twins at the Greater Accra regional hospital has just concluded.

The twins were joined at the head, classified as one of the most complex and complicated types of conjoined twins. The separation process involved a total of nine surgeries, making it a highly challenging and risky undertaking.

The first surgery, which took place on November 28th, 2022, focused on the internal secretion, neurovascular, and brain drains, which are critical components of the separation process.

The medical team encountered an unexpected emergency on December 1st, 2022, when one of the twins, known as Elijah, suddenly decompensated and suffered a cardiac arrest. Despite the team’s efforts to save him, Elijah passed away due to heart failure.

This setback was a major blow to the team, but they remained determined to complete the separation procedure successfully. Five months after the separation, the surviving twin, known as Twin 2 or Elisha, who is now 26 months old, is doing well.

While the medical team did not provide specific information on the twin’s current medical needs, it is likely that ongoing care and support will be required due to the complexity of the separation procedure.

The medical team and the family of the twins worked together throughout the separation process, displaying incredible resilience, dedication, and collaborative effort.

The team’s success is a testament to the importance of teamwork and collaboration in complex medical procedures, as well as the support received from the government and foreign experts.

The government provided critical financial support to acquire the necessary medical equipment, which has been used to perform over 300 complex surgical procedures, many of which would have otherwise been performed outside the country. Additionally, foreign experts, such as Professor Depart from India, volunteered their time and expertise to support the medical team.

The medical team and the family of the twins have been lauded for their unflinching dedication and participation in the separation process.

They have also expressed their condolences to the family of Elijah, who passed away during the procedure. The family has shown remarkable resilience and strength throughout the process, and their participation and active involvement have been instrumental in the team’s success.

The separation of conjoined twins is a rare and complex medical procedure, requiring specialized skills and equipment. While the outcome is often uncertain, the successful separation of these twins is a testament to the skill, dedication, and collaborative effort of the medical team involved.

The Greater Accra regional hospital and the medical team involved have shown that with the right equipment, expertise, and collaboration, even the most challenging medical procedures can be undertaken successfully.

The support received from the government and foreign experts has been critical in this success, highlighting the importance of international cooperation in advancing medical knowledge and expertise.

While the loss of one of the twins is tragic, the successful separation of the surviving twin is a significant accomplishment. It demonstrates the incredible resilience, strength, and dedication of all involved, and highlights the importance of ongoing support and care for the twin’s ongoing health and well-being.

In conclusion, the successful separation of conjoined twins at the Greater Accra regional hospital is a remarkable achievement, showcasing the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and support in complex medical procedures.

The medical team and the family of the twins have displayed incredible resilience and dedication throughout the process.

By Emmanuel Samani


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