Saudi Arabia tops the world’s countries in the successful separation of conjoined twins

Saudi Arabia is flying to make its history, under the scalpel of surgeons who have professionalized their work, and documented their successes on the map of global medicine.



Today, Saudi Arabia is moving at a steady pace, after a series of successes in the separation of twins, to confirm its excellence in this complex surgical field, and receive the applause of the whole world.


The impact of the prestigious Saudi position in the operations of separating twins did not stop at the medical and humanitarian returns, but also extended to the diplomatic corps, given the right of any country to invest its medical expertise and experiences politically and diplomatically in supporting frameworks of cooperation and communication between countries.




This makes Saudi Arabia occupy a distinguished position on the map of medicine and politics alike.


About this, the godfather of the twins’ chapter, Saudi Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah, spoke in his book (My Experience with Siamese Twins) issued in 2009, saying: “Our few Saudi experiences in Siamese surgeries have been able to transfer (medical diplomacy) to the ranks of effective and influential diplomacy, and it has shaped us This is an incentive for more performance and communication with the people of the world.”


Al-Rabiah adds, “Because a single surgery is no longer limited to the twins, but extends to their countries, which saw these humanitarian initiatives as a key to cooperation between them and the Kingdom in the areas of the economy, trade, culture, industry, and so on.”



What is remarkable about the Saudi experience is that it was not confined, restricted, or limited to one medical team, but was distinguished and committed to long-term planning.




Here, Al-Rabiah says, “These surgeries were made available to patients from different countries of the world, whether Arab, Islamic or Western, based on the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques – the late King Abdullah. This was the first step in expanding the scope of expertise and spreading it at the global level.”




Returning to the history of twin separation operations in Saudi Arabia, the first operation was performed on December 31, 1990, according to what Wikipedia reveals, for Saudi Siamese twins conjoined in the abdomen.




The operation was carried out at King Faisal Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, by the former Saudi Minister of Health, surgeon Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah.


After the success of this operation, the operations of separating the twins continued in the country. The second operation was for the Sudanese twins Samah and Heba, who were born with adhesion in the abdomen, pelvis, and lower chest area.


The operation lasted for 18 continuous hours and was successful. The third operation was to separate the Saudi twins, Samar and Sahar, who were also joined in the lower chest, abdomen, and pelvis.



After that, the operations for the separation of the twins moved from King Faisal Specialist Hospital to King Abdulaziz Medical City for the National Guard, where the fourth operation to separate the twins was performed for the Saudi twins, Hassan and Hussein, conjoined in the lower abdomen and pelvis.


This was followed by the separation of the Sudanese twins, Najla and Nusseibeh, who share a liver. Then the Kingdom received the Malaysian twins Ahmed and Muhammad, and the process of separating them took 23 hours, followed by the process of separating the Egyptian twins Talia and Talin, which was the first operation that was broadcast live on television.



Then, the process of separating the Filipino twins, Princess Anne and Princess May, which took 8 hours, although it was scheduled to take place in 16 hours.


King Abdulaziz Medical City also witnessed the separation of Polish twins Olga and Daria, the Egyptian Alaa Walaa, the Moroccan Hafsa and Ilham, the Iraqi Fatima and Zahra, the Cameroonian Fenbaum and Shfubu, the Saudi Abdullah and Abdul Rahman, the Iraqi Iyad and Ziad, the Moroccan Saadia and Aziza, the Jordanian Muhammad and Amjad, the Saudi Reem and Rana and the Algerian Sarah and Ikram.



Conjoined Twins




Conjoined twins are called Siamese twins, and they are identical twins whose bodies are joined in the womb, and it is a rare phenomenon that does not happen often, as it is estimated to occur from 1 in 50,000 births to 1 in 100,000 births, and the highest percentages are found in Southwest Asia and Africa.




Almost half of the Siamese twins die in the womb before birth, while the rest are born with deformities that make their lives difficult.


Survival rates for conjoined twins are estimated at 25%, and survival is greater for females than males, and conjoining is always between two identical bodies of the same sex, and no more than three or four pregnancies.


Separation of twins


Medically, the process of separating twins is one of the most difficult surgical operations, and the success of the process of separating them depends on the location of the adhesion, as the separation is possible if the conjoined twin shares the vessels of the heart or the brain, and the surgical team may have to sacrifice one of the twins for the other to live if they share the vessels of the heart. or the brain.


So far, more than 220 successful operations have been performed for conjoined twins since 1987, when American doctor Ben Carson was able to perform the first operation to separate Siamese twins conjoined from the head, and the separation process took about 22 hours.


More than 50 people participated in it, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the hospitals that perform the separation of twins with more than 18 successful operations.


Time to separate conjoined twins


The duration of the surgical procedure to separate the twins varies, as it sometimes takes many hours, as several multiple operations may be required the separation process takes place in several stages to prepare the body and blood vessels for the final separation.


The process of separating the conjoined twins, which took place in London for the twins Zainab and Janan al-Rahman in January 2003 AD, is the fastest process of separating conjoined twins, as it took only 45 minutes, and they were joined through the abdomen and shared in the liver and lived.


While the process of separating the Malaysian twins Ahmed and Muhammad, which took place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at King Faisal Specialist Hospital, is considered the separation process, where the process of separating them took up to 23 hours.


Saudi Arabia’s fame in the field of conjoined twins


In the Arab world, Saudi Arabia is famous for separating conjoined twins. Usually, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah is the supervisor of the separation.


King Fahd National Guard Hospital in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considered one of the most famous hospitals internationally known for its great experience in the field of twin separation, headed by Al-Rabiah and his staff.


A history of success


On the last day of 1990, King Faisal Specialist Hospital witnessed an exceptional medical event that occupied Arab and international public opinion, and it was the talk of the medical community, as King Faisal Specialist Hospital announced that surgery would be performed to separate Saudi Siamese twins conjoined in the abdominal area.


The Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah, was at the head of the medical team that would operate, and the operation was completed successfully, and since that date and for nearly three decades, the Kingdom has become a destination for medical workers, and the separation of conjoined twins.


Over 29 years, Saudi doctors have gained a great experience that is rarely found anywhere in the world, as the number of operations that were performed exceeded 45 operations for children from different countries, some of which were almost impossible to succeed in separating them, but the experience, skill, equipment, and modern technologies helped to accomplish all these surgeries.


On the 23rd of last December, a medical team at King Abdullah Hospital in King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia succeeded in separating Tanzanian Siamese twins Anisha and Meliniz.



Reasons why Saudi Arabia is famous for separating conjoined twins:



1- The medical teams performing the separation operations have gained a great deal of experience, as nearly a quarter of the separation operations of conjoined twins have been performed in the Kingdom worldwide.


2- It provides advanced and modern medical technologies, and medical teams have the skill and experience headed by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah, who has become one of the most famous and best doctors in separating conjoined twins in the world.



3- The lack of expenses incurred by the family of conjoined twins, when operating in the Kingdom, compared to the expenses in hospitals around the world that perform the same operation in Britain, America, Singapore, and others, for the support provided by the Saudi Ministry of Health.



The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has become a leader in the Arab world and all over the world in the number of successful separations of conjoined twins, as the number of operations reached 52 operations for more than 124 twins from 23 countries, from three continents around the world.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has achieved an unparalleled achievement in the field of double separation operations and has become one of the largest countries in the world in this field.




In the following lines, we will explain to you the list of double separation operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


On December 31, 1990, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah separated the first Saudi twin inside King Faisal Specialist Hospital:


February 8, 1992, The separation of the Sudanese twins, Samah and Heba.


On April 22, 1995, the separation of Saudi twins, Samar and Sahar.


January 21, 1998, The separation of Saudi twins Hassan and Hussein.


January 21, 2002, The separation of the Sudanese twins, Najla and Nusseibeh.


September 17, 2002, The separation of Malaysian twins Ahmed and Mohammed.


On October 4, 2003, Egyptian twins Talia and Taleen separated.


On July 20, 2004, Princess Anne and Princess May separated from Filipino twins.


January 22, 2005, Polish twins Daria and Olga separate.


On June 25, 2005, Egyptian twins Alaa and Walaa separated.


February 4, 2006 Separation of Moroccan twins Elha and Hafsa.


January 2, 2006, The separation of the Iraqi twins Fatima and Zahra.


October 27, 2007 separation of the Omani twins Safa and Marwa.


4 April 2007 Cameroonian twins Shvubu and Fenbaum separate.


July 2, 2007, The separation of Saudi twins Abdullah and Abdul Rahman.


July 12, 2008, Moroccan twins separated Safa and Marwa.


October 25, 2008, The separation of Iraqi twins Iyad and Ziad.


February 28, 2009, The separation of Egyptian twins Hassan and Mahmoud.


June 26, 2009, Moroccan twin branch Aziza and Sidon.


On April 29, 2010, Jordanian twins Mohammed and Amjad separated.


July 16, 2010, The separation of the Iraqi twins Ruqayya and Zainab.


March 17, 2011, Algerian twins Ikram and Sarah separated.


September 13, 2012, The separation of Saudi twins Reem and Rana.


December 21, 2012, The separation of Saudi twins Abdullah and Salman.


April 10, 2014, Iraqi twins Chris and Christian separated.


May 4, 2014, The separation of Saudi twins Rana and Raneem.


May 26, 2014 Separation of twins Mamdouh and Mahmoud.


February 28, 2015, The separation of Yemeni twins Abdullah and Abdul Rahman.


On June 19, 2015, the separation of the right-wing twins Abdullah and Abdel Aziz.


February 14, 2016, The Syrian Twin Paperback.


On March 26, 2016, Pakistani twins Fatima and Mashael separated.


October 13, 2016, The separation of Saudi twins Elaine and Ilan.


October 29, 2016, The separation of the twins, Ramah Waddah.


November 5, 2017, the separation of the Sudanese twins, Jude and Jana.


January 7, 2022, The separation of the twins Hanin and Farah from Palestine.


October 25, 2022, the separation of the Saudi twin, Sheikha and Shamoukh.


On December 23, 2022, Tanzanian twins Anishia and Melins separate.


July 28, 2022, Yemeni twin separation of Mawda and Rahma.

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