Turkish surgeons separate Siamese twins using new technique

A team of Turkish doctors have successfuly performed a separation surgery on two Algerian Siamese twins using a new technique for the first time ever, and they will soon be discharged from the hospital after fully recovery, says one of the surgeons who performed the procedure.

Though surgeons from various countries aspired to perform the separation surgery on one-and-a-half-year-old Siamese twins, the Algerian family came to Istanbul to start the treatment process in February 2021.

The team, which included doctors from many departments, such as plastic surgeons, heart surgeons, infectious disease specialists, organ transplant specialists, took a year to prepare for the operation.

Separated after a nine-hour surgery in June, the twins were kept under treatment for four months and have finally recovered enough to return to their country.

Plastic surgery procedures for separating vital organs without tissue loss in babies was the crucial stage of the entire surgery, said Mehmet Veli Karaaltın, a doctor in the team, while explaining new methods used in the surgery.

“You can separate babies and their conjoined organs, but after separating them, it is essential to close these tissues with a healthy cover. These babies usually lose their lives due to this problem,” Karaaltın noted.

In order to close these organs, surgeons expand the tissues with a balloon placed under the skin, the doctor stated.

“For the first time in the world, we used a different technique to enlarge the tissues of both babies jointly, and used them on each other’s bodies, like pieces of yin and yang,” he explained.

“It is not in the literature. We will also present the method at a meeting in the coming days,” Karaaltın added.

As the surgeons placed the balloon under the skin and inflated it, a giant tissue was formed. By making a single slide on that giant tissue, the surgeons were able to close the organs without the need for complex surgeries.

Karaaltın stated that in this way, they could safely close the vital organs without cutting through the chest wall.

“In the separation surgery, you may usually have to sacrifice one of them. Thank God, we got what we wanted,” he expressed.

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