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Rome Reports

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Unprecedented surgery successfully separates Siamese twins from Central African Republic


Two-year-old Siamese twin girls, joined at the head from birth, were separated at the pediatric hospital, Bambino Gesù, in early June 2020.

Born in a village in the Central African Republic, the girls and their mother were brought to Rome in 2018, after Mariella Enoc, president of the Bambino Gesù Hospital, met them in Bangui.

MARIELLA ENOC
President, Bambino Gesù Hospital
“Ervina and Prefina struck me in a particular way. They were only a few days old. They were in a small bed. I was told it was unlikely they would survive because even a small infection could kill them.”

In Rome, the twins underwent an intense period of medical examinations and two surgeries in the Vatican's pediatric hospital, in preparation for the third and final surgery to completely separate them. 

DR. CARLO MARRAS
Head Neurosurgeon, Bambino Gesù Hospital
“The most important part had to do with the venous drainage, a very technical term. If it's not separated correctly, the results of the surgical procedure could be tragic.”

The 18-hour surgery, relying on over 30 doctors and nurses, was the first of its kind to be successfully performed in Italy.

The twins are recovering well. Medical experts predict they will be able to grow up without any impairments to their cognitive or motor capabilities.