RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) — A team of medical experts successfully separated Egyptian twin boys Hassan and Mahmoud on Saturday — the 21st procedure of this type to be performed in the kingdom, the nation’s leading surgeon said.
“The twins, almost an hour ago, have been separated for the first time in their lives,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, who also is the Saudi minister of health. The boys are less than a year old and were brought to the kingdom on February 10.
While the 15-hour delicate surgery has been declared successful, surgeons at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City in Riyadh are still in the finishing stages of the procedure, an operation deemed successful, Dr. Al-Rabeeah told CNN.
“As we talk now, their vital organs are stable, their blood pressure is stable, and we are now starting the reconstruction of their organs,” he said.
Dr. Al-Rabeeah said separating their urinary system was a major challenge. And so was separating the siblings’ local veins and arteries.
“We had to identify the arteries and the blood veins between each baby,” he said.
“We expect both will be functioning well in the future,” he said.
From about 54 cases of conjoined twins assessed by this surgical team, 21 have been deemed fit for surgery, all successfully.
The surgeries are performed free as part of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz’s philanthropic initiative.
“We believe that the world is a unity, as has been seen for conjoined twins,” the doctor said.
“We have treated twins from different religions, from different nations 13 countries, four continents … And we don’t look at the color or the ethnic group or the nationality or the religion.”