Siamese twins op success

2013-01-22 00:00

A PAIR of conjoined (“Siamese”) twins who were separated in Pretoria last week will be able to “run around like other children”.

Dr Marisa de Villiers, a paediatric surgeon who was part of the team that operated on Recant and Recall Sibuyi (11 months) on Thursday, said: “They have problems with their feet, but they are minimal. If everything goes well, they will be able to walk and run normally.”

The brothers, from Mpumalanga, are the second set of conjoined twins separated at the Steve Biko hospital in the last 15 years.

Their mother, Bongi Sibuyi (19), said she couldn’t wait to take them home.

“I could never hold them. Now I can hold them and look after them,” she said.

Recant and Recall were born at Hazyview last February and transferred to Steve Biko.

The pair were joined from the abdomen to the pelvis and shared several organs.

Paediatric surgeon Dr Ernst Muller said they waited to separate them until the boys were strong enough.

The biggest worries before the six-hour operation were whether there would be enough skin to cover their wounds and whether their genitals could be separated.

The first step was to separate the boys’ bladder and then other organs. The last step was to separate the genitals.

Muller said the twins are healing well and will soon be transferred to a general ward.

They will still need further operations in the future, including the creation of anuses.

Professor Robin Green, head of paediatrics at the hospital, said it was not yet possible to separate another set of conjoined twins born earlier this month.

He said Neo and Renilwe Mokoena share more organs than the Sibuyi twins. Besides, Neo, the smaller of the pair, is sick because her lungs are underdeveloped.

The decision whether to separate them will be revisited in a few months.

Hospital CEO Ernest Kenoshi said they had cared for several sets of conjoined twins, not all of whom have been able to be separated.

•The rest of the team that operated on the Sibuyi twins were paediatric urologist Izak van Heerden, orthopaedic surgeon Ruan Goller, anaesthetist Sandra Spijkerman, plastic surgeon Professor Piet Coetzee and clinical assistants.

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