Kabul, April 18, 2021:  A pair of conjoined twins was successfully separated after a complicated and long surgery by Afghan surgeons at French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC).

Zuleika and Zainab were born in Herat province of Afghanistan in a low-income family. The parents were expecting twins, but not conjoined ones. After a Caesarean Section in Herat province, the conjoined babies were born; they were attached by abdomen and chest in a face-to-face condition. The father of the twins (Gulbuddin) immediately prepared himself to come in Kabul and visit FMIC specialists.

At FMIC, the ultrasound showed that the two babies are sharing liver and they are attached by some parts of chest and abdomen. The paediatric surgery team at FMIC was keeping the babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) until the final decision.

After a long and meticulous discussion amongst a mixed team of paediatric surgeons, radiologists, anaesthesiologists, cardiac surgeons  and nursing, they made the decision. A mixed team of 10 including paediatric surgeons, anaesthetists, nursing and one consultation form cardiac surgery  prepared themselves for a very complicated and unique surgery.

The planned surgery prolonged six hours with expected outcome: the babies survived. The twins were shifted to NICU for more monitoring and observation. After a few hours, they started sucking milks and shaking their feet and hands.

The whole team including the twins’ parents were praying for the twins and waiting for the result of the surgery and the monitor was showing normal breathing. The twins were getting normal hour by hour while they are under close observations of doctors and nurses. This case of conjoined twins with shared liver is the first registered case in Afghanistan and globally it is a risky case one.