Conjoined twins with fused brains separated in Brazil

A UK-based surgeon has helped saved the life of Brazilian twins who were born with fused brains, in what may have been one of the most complex operations in history.

Conjoined twins Bernardo and Arthur Lima battled through a number of procedures lasting hours on end in Rio de Janeiro, under the direction of Great Ormond Street Hospital paediatric surgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani.

The boys, three, faced more than 33 hours of surgery in their final two procedures alone, involving almost 100 medics.

In all, they underwent seven operations after surgeons spent months trialling various techniques in virtual reality before the delicate surgery began for real.

Health staff have hailed the ‘life-changing’ result, with Bernardo and Arthur now recovering some two-and-a-half years after their parents came to the hospital for help.

Pictures show the brothers before and after the surgery. In one image they are seen separated on a hospital bed bandaged up and holding hands.

The care was led by Mr Jeelani, alongside Dr Gabriel Mufarrej, head of paediatric surgery at Instituto Estadual do Cerebro Paulo Niemeyer.

Mr Jeelani described the operation as a ‘remarkable achievement’ by medics but added that the charity relies on public donations to keep its work going.

‘The successful separation of Bernardo and Arthur is a remarkable achievement by the team in Rio and a fantastic example of why the work of Gemini Untwined is so valuable’, he said.

Since the twins are almost four years old, they are also the oldest craniopagus twins with a fused brain to have been separated.

Both twins are recovering well in hospital, and will be supported with six months of rehabilitation, the charity has said.

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