2006 News Story

Conjoined Iraqi twins to undergo separation surgery Saturday

The conjoined Iraqi twins Fatimah and Zahra who were brought to the Kingdom’s National Guard Hospital in King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh February 5 at the age of 11 days with a combined weight of approximately 3.2 kilograms (7 lbs), will undergo separation surgery on Saturday, the hospital reported today. 

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, chief executive officer of the National Guard Health Affairs and chief

surgeon at King Abdulaziz Medical City, said that the current condition of the twins is stable and that their combined weight has now reached 11.5 kilograms (25.4 lbs).

The twins are joined at the chest, abdomen and pelvis. Each one of them has one lower extremity and both share a rudimentary 3rd lower extremity. They also share one liver, one colon, anus, urinary system,

and one genital system.

The separation, performed in 10 phases, will be carried out by a 29-member surgical team headed by Dr. Al-Rabeeah. The surgery is expected to last about 20 hours.

The twins arrived in Riyadh on board a Saudi medical evacuation plane in line with directives by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to transport them and bear the expenses of the possibility of their separation at King Abdulaziz Medical City. To date twelve sets of conjoined twins have been successfully separated in the Kingdom, nine at King Abdulaziz Medical City.

[For more details, see the ‘Conjoined Twins’ web site.]