A team of 10 doctors successfully carried out an operation separating conjoined three-month-old girls at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai.
The twins, who were connected at the hip and lower spine, had mostly separate digestive systems but shared a lower bowel. In the past 15 years, the hospital had already separated six pairs of conjoined twins, but the hip-conjoined girls were a new challenge.
The doctors turned to 3D-printing technology to prepare for the five-hour operation. Using data from scans of the twins, a 3D-printing company built models of their body parts, which doctors used in a virtual operation ahead of the surgery.
“With the 3D model, we could better understand the actual anatomical structure of the twin girls’ conjoined parts. And it helped us to decide on a more precise starting point on the body,” Zheng Shan, chief surgeon and pediatric surgery expert, was quoted as saying.
The twin girls were born in Ganzhou city, Jiangxi province on March 17. Doctors said that while the operation was a success, it will take three days for them to be considered out of danger.
By Joyce Ng