Surgery to separate Palestinian twins on Sunday

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Farah and Haneen in an incubator a day after their birth.

RIYADH — A multi-disciplinary medical team has decided to perform the separation surgery for the Palestinian conjoined twins Farah and Haneen on Sunday.

The team met on Tuesday night in the presence of Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, adviser to the Royal Court and supervisor general of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The conjoined twins were born in Gaza in late October. They are joined in the abdominal and pelvic regions, have one lower limb and share some internal organs.

Allam Abu Hamda, head of the neonatal unit at Shifa Hospital in Gaza, said the girls’ complicated condition “cannot be dealt with in the Gaza Strip, so we hope they will be transferred abroad for a separation.”

Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy prime minister and minister of defense, had issued directives to airlift the twins to the Kingdom from Jordan to explore the possibility of separating them.

After a series of tests, the medical team found Haneen to be a fully developed baby who can be saved through surgery while Farah to be lacking most vital organs including the heart and lungs.

The team concluded that Farah was completely dependent on her twin sister Haneen for blood circulation and cannot survive.

After considering all possibilities and risks, the team decided to go ahead with the surgery on Sunday in order to save the life of Haneen.

Dr. Al-Rabeeah said the odds for the surgery to be a success was 70 percent, which is a good ratio compared to previous similar cases. — SG/SA


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