Making huge strides in Qatar's health care sector and providing the most advanced surgical expertise, Sidra Medicine has conducted its first separation surgery of conjoined twins.
Hamad and Tamim - born to the Mali nationals, Ousmne Ag Mohamed and Fatimatou were separated on September 24 after months of preparation and expert consultations.
The twins’mother was seen during her 29th week of pregnancy at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) while on a visit in Qatar. After confirming that the twins were conjoined and separation was possible, a multidisciplinary team from HMC and Sidra Medicine arranged for the delivery and care for the separation.
Soon after birth at HMC, the twins were transferred to Sidra Medicine, under the care of a highly specialised team of neonatal ICU physicians, nurses, paediatric surgeons and allied healthcare professionals. Led by Dr Mansour Ali, chair of the Department of Paediatric Surgery and Dr. Abdalla Zarroug, division chief of Paediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, the four-month-old male twins were separated by a team of 10 surgeons and anaesthesiologists, during a nine-hour procedure that went without any complications.
“The surgery was planned and rehearsed for months with a full complement of over 150 medical and support staff undergoing over 30 hours of simulation to minimise the risks and improve patient outcomes. We rehearsed the actual surgery multiple times until everyone in the team was convinced that it was going to be ok,” said Dr Zarroug.
The separated twins and their parents along with the entire medical team that conducted the whole procedure. PICTURES: Noushad Thekkayil.
“The twins were born on May 25 at 33 weeks and five days. They were transferred to Neonatal ICU at Sidra Medicine after they were stablised by June 3. The first procedure was tissue expansion by plastic surgery on July 24. Two months later on September 24, the actual separation took place,” explained Dr Zarroug.
The physician also told that the twins were conjoined at the liver and lower sternum - considered one of the riskier types of fusion, as each baby needs a fully functional liver and gastrointestinal tract of their own without compromising the other. Omphalopagus twins, those who are connected at the belly and liver, are some of the most complex to separate.
Less than 10 days after separation, Hamad and Tamim are recovering and are back to normal feeds and expected to live normal, independent lives.
“By successfully separating conjoined twins, one of the most complex surgical procedures there is, we are proud to showcase the calibre of our multidisciplinary teams less than a year since we opened our inpatient facility. The surgery is both a milestone for the hospital and the health care sector in Qatar,” said Dr Mansour.
Mohamed, father of the twins said, “We tried to explore international options for surgery until we found out about Sidra Medicine. We found that Qatar has the right resources, technical expertise and above all the humanitarian aspect to set aside any commercial interests. We are immensely grateful to all for the tireless efforts to save the lives of our boys.”
Mali ambassador Cheick Ahmed Tidiany Diakite was also present during the announcement ceremony and thanked the government of Qatar, Sidra Medicine and HMC for the great feat.
Dr Abdulla al-Kaabi, chief medical officer, Sidra Medicine noted, “ It is a proud moment for the team at Sidra Medicine and the healthcare network in Qatar. Today’s case is indicative that we remain committed to our mission to provide children and women with outstanding tertiary healthcare services in an innovative and ultramodern facility specially designed to promote healing. It also establishes Sidra Medicine as a key contender in the region to handle complex paediatric diseases.”
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